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Wall of Honor 2011 Ribbon Cutting

By Kenneth Kesner, The Huntsville Times The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The economic challenges faced by the nation will lead to military force reductions and program changes and a different future for all, including the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, said Lt. Gen. Richard Formica.

But as tough decisions are made, the SMDC leader said it’s critical – especially to a smaller Army and the envisioned “joint force” – that commanders and troops not be denied access to space and cyberspace capabilities.

“If the Army wants to be able to shoot, move and communicate, it needs space. If the nation wants to be protected from rogue nations’ ability to launch ballistic missiles, it needs missile defense,” Formica said Thursday, addressing the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association‘s annual meeting.

“I believe that exploiting the potential of space and missile defense capabilities will be more important in the future, where conflicts will take place in domains without boundaries, and where forward presence may be reduced,” he said.

No one can claim to be in a “growth industry” and no one will be immune from efficiency drills and budget cuts, Formica said. But he’s confident the tools provided by SMDC/ARSTRAT, which is headquartered on Redstone Arsenal, and by its allied commands “are more relevant than ever.”

He recounted some of SMDC’s accomplishments in 2011 – streamlining the command, launching the Army’s first nano-satellite and much, much more – and outlined some priorities for 2012. First and foremost, he said, is remaining focused on their core tasks of providing trained forces, space capability and research “while being disciplined stewards of our nation’s resources.”

The luncheon was held amid exhibits of Huntsville’s space history and technology in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. That’s where an ASMDA civilian “Wall of Honor” is now featuring portraits of men and women who have made significant contributions to missile defense over the decades.

For years, the wall had been at SMDC headquarters, but was moved so that the general public could enjoy and learn from it, said outgoing 2011 ASMDA President Debra Wymer, who is also director of SMDC’s Technical Center.

“The men and women inducted into the Wall of Honor are truly giants in our profession,” Wymer said. Today’s successes, the systems protecting troops around the world, can be directly traced to their efforts.

“Outstanding. It turned out well,” said Jess Granone, who is now with Decisive Analytics. He’s one of 45 people whose portrait is on the wall, and a member of the ASMDA committee that worked to make its move to the Davidson Center possible

(The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)

Joseph Butler and Dr. Edward Wilkenson, both former employees, chat during the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) membership and awards luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Ala. The ribbon cutting took place in front of the new Wall of Honor which has been relocated to the Davidson Center from the SMDC HQ on Redstone Arsenal.

Dr. Edward Wilkinson, a member of the Hall of Honor, talks about the wall during the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) membership and awards luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Ala. The ribbon cutting took place in front of the new Wall of Honor which has been relocated to the Davidson Center from the SMDC HQ on Redstone Arsenal.


(The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)

Joseph Butler and Dr. Edward Wilkenson, and Julian Davidson, all former employees, chat during the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) membership and awards luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Ala. The ribbon cutting took place in front of the new Wall of Honor which has been relocated to the Davidson Center from the SMDC HQ on Redstone Arsenal.


(The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)

Allison Thomas and Peggy Cerny, of Huntsville, look for Pete Cery’s name on the Wall of Honor during the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) membership and awards luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Ala. Pete Cerny has passed away, but Peggy, his wife, and Allison, his daughter, were proud to see his name on the wall. The ribbon cutting took place in front of the new Wall of Honor which has been relocated to the Davidson Center from the SMDC HQ on Redstone Arsenal.

Former Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer talks to Lt. Gen. Richard Formica during the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) membership and awards luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Ala. The ribbon cutting took place in front of the new Wall of Honor which has been relocated to the Davidson Center from the SMDC HQ on Redstone Arsenal.


(The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)

Jess Granone, Lt. Gen. Richard Formica , and Debra Wymer cut the ribbon during the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) membership and awards luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Ala. The ribbon cutting took place in front of the new Wall of Honor which has been relocated to the Davidson Center from the SMDC HQ on Redstone Arsenal.


(The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2012/01/space_missile_defense.html