Upwards of 3,000 pieces of equipment in a US Army brigade rely on satellites for positioning, timing, navigation, communications, and targeting. Because of the military’s increased reliance on space, Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, who serves as the commander of Army Space and Missile Defense Command, said the military must learn to operate in “degraded environments.”
Karbler told a huge crowd at the Von Braun Convention Center’s Space and Missile Defense Symposium on August 10 that adversaries are creating electronic and cyber weapons to deny the US military accessibility to satellites in orbit.
The Army Space and Missile Defense Command, headquartered in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, offers satellite communication as well as other space support to US Space Command, with crews stationed all around the world. The Army’s 1st Space Brigade and the Army’s Satellite Operations Brigade are the SMDC’s principal space units. These units assist US commanders by devising backup tactics so that forces may continue to function even if GPS or even communications signals are blocked or disrupted.
According to Karbler, the Army’s demand for more satellites to offer information, communications, and targeting capabilities are growing, and having more systems in place increases resilience against attacks.
He stated, “We are formulating specifications.” It is still unclear if the Army would purchase new space systems directly or through the US Space Force. The military is also exploring purchasing commercial space industry services. Karbler stated that capabilities are required regardless of who delivers them.
Government buyers of space technologies, according to Karbler, should not rush to buy solutions from contractors without first asking important questions like how new systems interact with existing ones and how they fit into the broader DoD command-and-control system recognized as Joint All-Domain Command and Control. Space sensors must be integrated with air, ground, and maritime networks under the JADC2 paradigm.
The SMD Symposium is the space and missile Defense community’s premier educational, professional development, and networking event. Leaders and experts from the United States and its allies across the world are expected to attend the summit.
The executive committee is committed to complying with all state, federal, and local orders respecting COVID-19 to ensure the health and security of all SMD 2021 participants. To ensure a safe event for guests, additional health and safety procedures will be introduced, such as periodic surface cleansing, mask requirements, and social distancing measures.