The United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) is a specialized major command within the United States Army. The command was established in 1997.

The Army Space Command (ARSPACE) stood up in April 1988 as a field operating agency of the Deputy Chief of Staff (of the Army) for Operations and Plans.[1] As the Army component of U.S. Space Command, ARSPACE was to provide the Army perspective in planning for Department of Defense space support and ensure the integration of Army requirements into joint planning for space support and "conduct planning for DoD space operations in support of Army strategic, operational and tactical missions."

A relatively small organization, it was soon put to the test. The new command was instrumental in bringing space assets to U.S. Army forces during Operation Desert Storm. Following the war, new operational missions, such as the Army Space Support Teams and the Joint Tactical Ground Stations, became key elements of the Army space program.

Organizationally however, ARSPACE remained a command, a Tables of Distribution and Allowances, or TDA, organization with offices and directorates according to mission, rather than an Army operational Table of Organization and Equipment unit. This changed on May 1, 1995. On that date, ARSPACE's Military Satellite Communications Directorate or MILSATCOM Directorate became the 1st Satellite Control, or SATCON, Battalion—the first Army battalion with an operational mission tied to space systems and capabilities.


The SMDC is an organization composed of several components:

The 1st Space Brigade (Provisional) was activated in May 2003, with the 1st Space Battalion, the 1st Satellite Control Battalion (later to become the 53rd Signal Battalion), and the 193rd Space Battalion (Colorado Army National Guard).[8]

On October 20, 2007 the provisional 193rd Space Battalion became a permanent-status unit, the 117th Space Battalion.[9] The Colorado Guard's 117th Space Battalion is not part of 1st Space Brigade and is controlled by the National Guard. However, it has a Training, Readiness, Oversight (TRO) relationship with 1st Space Brigade.

The current SMDC commander is Lieutenant General James H. Dickinson with Senior Enlisted Advisor Command Sergeant Major Jerome Wiggins.

The Space and Missile Defense program at West Point

After the 2001 Space Commission identified the need for Space cadre in the DoD, the United States Military Academy (USMA) initiated an SMD program. By 2020, cadets majoring in Space Science will have graduated from USMA, with the opportunity of receiving the Space Operations Badge upon graduation.[10]

Commanders 1997-2001

  • [null LTG Kevin T. Campbell, December 2006-December 2010]
  • [null LTG Larry J. Dodgen, December 2003-December 2006]
  • Lieutenant General Joseph M. Cosumano, Jr.: from April 2001 – unknown[11]
  • Brigadier General John M. Urias: March 2001 - April 2001
  • Lieutenant General John Costello: October 1998 - March 2001
  • Colonel (P) Steven W. Flohr: August - October 1998, Interim Commander
  • Lieutenant General Edward G. Anderson III: October 1997 - August 1998 Commander, USASSDC, October 1996 - September 1997

See also

Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense Comparable organizations


External links