HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Lt. Gen. James Dickinson has been nominated to become the deputy commander of the new U.S. Space Command, sources have confirmed to Defense News.

The Congressional Record shows Dickinson has been nominated for a position but does not specify what that position is.

He will serve under Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond, who breezed through his confirmation hearing in June and was subsequently confirmed.

Dickinson has led Space and Missile Defense Command since 2017, directing the creation and implementation of the Army’s air & missile defense strategy, which was released in March. He’s also held senior roles at U.S. Strategic Command, the Missile Defense Agency and on the Army staff. He commanded two Army air and missile defense commands and is a 1985 graduate of Colorado State University.

In his current job, he wears two hats as the commander of Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, coordinating all missile defense planning and operations support around the world.

During his tenure at SMDC, he’s overseen a transformation in the Army’s missile defense forces, as the service is expanding their air and missile defense capacity, while adding new technology to the service’s arsenal.

During an August 6 speech at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, Dickinson led with a hefty dose of the Army’s role in space and how that mission is expanding. Typically, the Army is focused on its missile defense mission and outsiders are rarely aware of its space mission.

Dickinson highlighted the Army’s space capabilities such as missile warning, command, control and communications, friendly force tracking, situational awareness and position, navigation and timing.

He emphasized the Army’s space training kits that simulate a denied, degraded and disruptive space operational environment and the deployment around the globe of those serving in the 1st Space Brigade based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

But he also made a broader pitch in his speech, advocating for space-based missile defense sensors that would help defeat complex threats “from cradle to grave" and noted that the newly stood-up Space Development Agency would be dedicated to building a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation leveraging the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Black Jack program.

Dickinson pushed for a stronger focus on reallocating investment in ways to defeat missile threats before they even launch as well as non-kinetic means to defeat those threats. He said more attention should be paid to developing passive missile defense rather than active defense, which the services have focused on primarily in the past.

Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.

Jeff Martin is the Associate Editor for Multimedia and the host & producer of Defense News Weekly, airing online and on American Forces Network worldwide. In his role as Associate Editor, he reports worldwide on the military and defense industry and leads a market-leading multimedia team.

Joe Gould is the Congress and industry reporter at Defense News, covering defense budget and policy matters on Capitol Hill as well as industry news.

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