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Army Link News

General speaks about space role in Iraq

by Maj. Laura Kenney

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Army News Service, April 8, 2003) -- Army Space Forces are actively engaged in current operations in Iraq and globally.

Brig. Gen. Richard V. Geraci, Army Space Command deputy commanding general, talked about his command's operations at an Association of the U.S. Army chapter meeting in Colorado Springs just a few days after Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

"We've taken an old cliché and made it ours: The sun never does set on Army Space," Geraci said. "The few soldiers you see here today wearing this patch are about all we have left -- the rest are deployed around the globe, engaged in our mission of helping the soldier in the foxhole. We are literally up to our eyeballs in current global operations, ensuring that your Army never experiences a day without Space (Command support)."

To underscore the importance of space technology for both civilian and military use, Geraci asked the audience to imagine a day without the use of space.

In the civilian world, that would mean no satellite TV; no tracking of floods or forest fires; no help with search and rescue; no Hubble telescope; no emergency broadcasting; and terrible, if any, cell phone transmission, Geraci said.

For the military, no use of space would mean reliance on older long-haul commo; no Blue Force tracking to help identify friend from foe; no Global Positioning System to help soldiers navigate; no imagery to prepare combatant commanders before they hit the ground; no video tele-conferencing; no e-mailing home to families; and no early missile warning.

GPS is particularly important to soldiers in the Central Command area of operations as they can continue to move through blinding sand storms and a featureless desert with it, Geraci said.

Geraci asked attending Army Reserve and National Guard members to stand up for recognition.

"We absolutely cannot do our job without the reserve component," Geraci said. "They are working shoulder to shoulder with the active component and doing the terrific job we expect from them. If you want to see true multi-component units, come to Army Space."

The general said he believed so much in the importance of Space Command that he convinced his son-in-law to re-enlist to become a satellite controller.

(Editor's note: Capt. Laura Kenney is assigned to Army Space Command.)

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