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AUSA Paper: Retention of Space-Qualified Soldiers Critical

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U.S. Army
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

As the U.S. Space Force begins to take shape, it will be critical for the Army to retain the space-related capabilities it needs to perform its missions and ensure soldiers are taken care of, according to a new paper from the Association of the U.S. Army.

Authored by retired Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, “The U.S. Army and the U.S. Space Force” highlights some of the complexities that exist in standing up the new service, which was established in December under the Department of the Air Force.

The Army and each of the services must retain their capabilities to properly align roles and missions; optimize the strategic, operational and tactical readiness of the force; and take care of their people, Formica writes.

As the “largest user of space capabilities in DoD,” the Army’s capabilities that are dependent on space include major weapon systems; communications; command and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; missile warning and missile defense; geospatial analysis; positioning, navigation and timing; and friendly force tracking, he writes.

The average brigade, he notes, has nearly 3,000 items of equipment that are space-enabled.

Pointing to the “people first” priority established by Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, Formica writes that this philosophy “should guide the transfer of soldiers to the USSF, caring for soldiers and families today and ensuring the long-term viability of the force for tomorrow.”

He added that the Army’s retention of the right mix of experienced, space-qualified soldiers to perform essential space-related functions is as important to the Army as it is to the Space Force.

Formica’s final assignment before retiring in 2013 was commander of Army Space and Missile Defense Command and U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.

The paper is part of AUSA’s Spotlight series, and it’s available here.