Preparing Space Force For Army Forces
by U.S. Army Carrie Campbell and Lira Frye
Space and Missile Defense Command
September 2, 2020
During an historic ceremony solidifying the relationship between
the Army’s and the Department of Defense’s space commands on August
21, 2020 ... the Army’s senior space officer highlighted the
importance of a warfighting culture and preparing the U.S. Space
Force to accept Army forces.
During the flag unfurling
ceremony with U.S. Space Command at Schriever Air Force Base, Lt.
Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, emphasized
readiness, stressing that any transfer of forces into the U.S. Space
Force is conditions based to ensure no readiness gap.
Gen. James H. Dickinson, U.S. Space Command commander, left, and Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command commanding general, unfurl SMDC's colors to officially recognize the command as the Army Service Component Command to USSPACECOM during a ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado
on August 21, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Dottie K. White)
“As we look down the road and we look at the potential for
transfer of Army forces to the USSF, we have to make sure that it’s
a conditions-based transfer and that before we do that, it’s done
with meticulous analysis,” Karbler said. “My commitment to you
(USSPACECOM) is that we retain that warfighting readiness with any
kind of transfer decisions.”
Transfers from the Air Force to
the U.S. Space Force started in fiscal year 2020. The timeframe for
Army or Navy space requirements to move to the Space Force remains
no earlier than fiscal year 2022 or 2023.
The flag unfurling designated USASMDC as the Army
Service Component Command for USSPACECOM. In this role, USASMDC
integrates Army space into the USSPACECOM warfighting culture
through trained and ready Army forces performing crucial no-fail
missions around the globe while continuing support to other
“We’re the ASCC to U.S. Space Command
for the space mission; we’re the ASCC to U.S. Strategic Command for
the strategic deterrence mission; and we’re also the supporting
command for U.S. Northern Command for our homeland missile defense
mission,” Karbler said. “We talk about securing the high ground, but
we occupy some pretty key terrain in what I like to call the
‘integration nexus’ of three very important strategic missions. That
integration nexus really allows me to provide good advice, good
recommendations and good information to all the combatant commands
that we service.”
In his first official act as USSPACECOM
commander, Gen. James H. Dickinson participated in the unfurling
ceremony that formalized USASMDC’s role as a part of USSPACECOM.
“It’s interesting to look at the responsibility that Lt. Gen.
Karbler and the team at SMDC will have in terms of being a
dual-hatted ASCC to both USSTRATCOM and USSPACECOM,” Dickinson said.
“In my mind, this is a great integration opportunity for some of our
very important mission areas between USSTRATCOM and USSPACECOM.”
During his Change of Command Aug. 20 in a ceremony at Peterson
Air Force Base, Dickinson focused on USSPACECOM’s warfighting
“To be clear, our objective is to deter a conflict
from beginning in, or extending to space and to enable our nation to
compete in space from a position of strength,” Dickinson said.
“However, should deterrence fail, our imperative is clear: we will
win. To do so, we will require a space warfighting culture that
permeates our entire command.”
Karbler said his command will
support USSPACECOM’s warfighting mindset.
“I will provide
today, and in the future, trained and ready Army space forces,”
Karbler said. “Tied closely to warfighting culture is warfighting
readiness. My commitment to you is to make sure our operational
brigades and the developmental work we do is at the forefront of
that warfighting readiness.
“Winning matters,” Karbler said.
“But I will tell you that in space, winning first really matters.”
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