Bringing Space To The Fight
by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Rognstad
December 9, 2020
Space-based assets, such as satellite communications, missile defense warning and surveillance, are necessary to defeat an adversary, and the space experts in an Army Space Support Team bridge the gap between these assets and the user.
Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Division called upon 1st Space Battalion’s ARSST 2 to provide their space expertise during Warfighter Exercise 21-01, November 3-13, 2020.
“Warfighter is an operation designed to train divisions and other training audiences to conduct unified land operations against a near-peer threat,” said Maj. Clayton Merkley, strategist and deputy civil-military operations staff officer, 4th Infantry Division.
To simulate combat conditions, the space Soldiers who participated in the exercise lived and worked downrange, said Maj. Steven Richards, ARSST commander.
November 6, 2020 -Army Space Support Team 2 Soldiers stand in front of their downrange shelter for the U.S. Army’s Warfighter field training exercise at Fort Carson, Colorado, where they provided space capabilities for the 4th Infantry Division. The ARSST is assigned to 2nd Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Rognstad)
“We were in full expeditionary mode,” Richards said. “In (deployable rapid assembly shelter) tents downrange, we were the space support element for 4th ID. We reacted to feeds and information we gathered from space-based systems and plugged ourselves into the targeting cycle.”
Richards and three other ARSST Soldiers from the usual six-man team took part in the exercise. The team was reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Staff Sgt. Isaac Moore, ARRST noncommissioned officer in charge, said the team analyzed, distributed and confirmed intelligence on the enemy’s capabilities and vulnerabilities during the exercise. He said the team gained hands-on experience and enjoyed the camaraderie with the 4th Infantry Division Soldiers.
Capt. Justin Martirosian, a member of ARSST 5 who remotely supported ARSST 2 during the exercise, said the team translated the abstract concepts of space capabilities for the 4th Infantry Division Soldiers.
“A lot of Soldiers are comfortable with artillery, because they’ve used it for years and they’ve integrated with it,” Martirosian said. “But space is still new enough that having it at the division level – even though it’s been around for years – is still unfamiliar with a lot of Soldiers. So, with the team as a whole, I hope we learn how to develop products that support the division commander’s intent with the capabilities that we are planning and executing.”
ARSST 2 is assigned to 2nd Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
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