WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army and Space Command unfurled a flag Aug. 21, making the Army Space and Missile Defense Command the official service component command to the new organization focused on the final frontier.
ASMDC will retain its responsibilities as the service component command to U.S. Strategic Command and will follow similar organizational and reporting guidelines with Space Command.
“The Army is the largest user of space-enabled systems in the Department of Defense,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a statement. “Naming USASMDC as a component command to both combatant commands strengthens command and control, unity of effort, and synchronization of Army space and missile defense operations.”
Making ASMDC the service component command to Space Command is a “very natural fit” for the command, then-ASMDC Commander Lt. Gen. James Dickinson told Defense News in an interview last fall. “It’s just as simple as looking at our name — that makes sense.”
Dickinson took the reins of Space Command as its new leader Aug. 20 in a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
The Army has had a role in space for years, from soldiers that operate satellites to roles as astronauts, and the service is reliant on the domain for communications and surveillance. But as the United States expands its mission in space, things are heating up for the typically terrestrial service.
The ASMDC now serves as the epicenter for the service’s expanding role in space. The Army’s command operates from a split-based headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. It has personnel in 11 times zones at 23 worldwide locations, according to the Army. The command has roughly 2,800 soldiers across all three components.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.