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Army activates third air and missile defense command

By Staff Sgt. Kimberly Green

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii, (Army News Service, Oct. 25, 2005)-- The 94th Air and Missile Defense Command unfurled its colors during a ceremony Oct 14, on Fort Shafter as the Army transforms to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.

The new command is the Asia-Pacific Theater’s first line of defense officials said.

This ceremony marks the activation of the third Army Air and Missile Defense Command; two in the active component and one in the reserve component. The 94th AAMDC is the newest addition to the modular Army and is tailored for joint and or multi-national operations. It is a command headquarters element that provides command and control for Army air defense units and it will assist in planning theater-level air and missile defenses.

“In this region of the world there is a rapid growth in the number of air-delivered weapons systems,” said Lt. Gen. John M. Brown III, U.S. Army, Pacific commanding general and the reviewing officer for the ceremony. “Things will change; we’ll keep all our existing missions, but we will also become a war-fighting headquarters. The 94th AAMDC is an integral part of the headquarters transformation.”

The activation and stationing of the 94th AAMDC in the USPACOM theater of operations ensures the Army’s contribution to the theater air and missile defense fight and supports the Joint Forces Commander’s intent, Brown said.

“Today, we join the U.S. Army, Pacific in its vigilant fight against the Global War on Terrorism. We support our commander in chief’s overall plan in homeland security. We are actively engaged in critical exercises preparing our forces, building cooperation with our coalition partners and ultimately preparing the 94th AAMDC for success in any future contingency,” said Col. John E. Seward, 94th AAMDC commander.

During his remarks, Seward insisted that he took the opportunity to give special thanks to guests from out of town. These guests were no strangers to the 94th AAMDC. They included retired Col. David Casmus, last commander of the 94th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Darmstadt, Germany, and wife Socorro Casmus.

“It is a distinct honor to have you participate in our unit activation as the last commander of the 94th. You tie us to our past and may you always find us faithful as we accept the torch you have passed us today,” Seward said.

Casmus, a guest speaker, said he was thankful for the invitation to attend and participate in the ceremony.

“I am extremely proud to witness the unfurling, once again, of the 94th’s colors. I am darn proud that the First Line of Defense patch is back in the active Army and worn on these Soldier’s sleeves again. I am extremely confident that the Soldiers and their leaders will live up to the past glory of the 94th.

The ceremony itself featured the 25th Infantry Division Marching Band, 94th AAMDC Soldiers, and a traditional Polynesian Maori welcome.

(Editor’s note: Staff. Sgt.Kimberly A. Green is with the 94th Air and Missile Command, Fort Shafter.)

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