Articles

SMDC Leader Addresses Local Space and Missile Defense Community

By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public Affairs - February 1, 2018

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, and commander of Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, addressed the 23rd annual membership luncheon of the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association Jan. 30.

"Research and development of new capabilities has been one of SMDC's core tasks since it began, 60 years ago," Dickinson said. "SMDC's 60th anniversary coincides closely with another 60th anniversary, the launch of the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1. Explorer's effect on the course of our history can't be overstated."

Dickinson spoke to the audience of more than 250 about his pride in the Army's legacy. Soon after building the nation's first space program, the Army provided the core facilities, material and personnel NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center would become in 1960.

He explained how The Army Ordnance and Missile Command and Army Ballistic Missile Agency transferred 4,700 Army civil service employees and more than $100 million worth of buildings and equipment to the Kennedy Space Center and on Redstone Arsenal.

"From the Explorer 1 launch in 1958 to July 1, 1960, the Army achieved a series of pioneering efforts in space," Dickinson said. "It placed four Earth satellites into orbit; launched the free world's first lunar probe and first solar satellite; launched three chimps into space; led to the design of a 1.5 million-pound-thrust booster for a lunar exploration vehicle; and began work on the launch vehicle which would carry the first men into space."

He said SMDC/ARSTRAT's role has evolved over the intervening years and the command now provides forces for space and missile defense operations that protect every American and enhance the Army's warfighting effectiveness and lethality.

"We deliver critical space situational awareness and missile warning to the joint force," Dickinson said. "We build the Army's space cadre and execute life cycle management for more than 325 space operations officers supporting every level of command; we process, daily, more than half a million force tracking reports and disseminate them to hundreds of authorized users; we operate worldwide satellite communications for crucial U.S. and allied endeavors; we develop new capabilities; and we even provide U.S. Army astronauts to NASA."

Dickinson thanked ASMDA for supporting the nation's air, space, and missile defense efforts, providing a community that enhances the workforce and helping foster education for the next generation of youth.

"The Adventures in Engineering program gives my command and others a chance to expose local youth to the research, development, and testing that we do on Redstone Arsenal," Dickinson said. "You support our veterans across Northern Alabama and their families. The professional and civic involvement of ASMDA plays an important part in the strong and continuing relationship between the Army, NASA, and the Huntsville area that has lasted for more than 60 years."

Dickinson expressed his appreciation for ASMDA's recognition of the individuals and teams who play vital roles in the defense of the nation by developing leading edge air, space, and missile defense technologies.

During the luncheon ASMDA presented the Service Excellence Award, in the Team Category, to the SMDC Technical Center's Flight Experiment-1 Execution Teams -- Government and Contractor -- for their contributions to national defense. The award was accepted by Lee Ray, on behalf of the government team, and Bud Teague on behalf of the contractors.

The Flight Experiment-1 Execution Teams supported all aspects of a highly successful launch of a hypersonic weapon, critical to determining the capability of the system's future use for cross domain fires. The test was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and led by the U.S. Navy.

"It is an honor to represent the command at the ASMDA awards luncheon," Ray said. "The awards for the FE-1 Government and Contractor teams mean a lot since the work performed by both teams is recognized. The FE-1 mission took a lot of hard work, personal sacrifices and tenacity for all involved. The mission was also exciting and fun at the same time as being very challenging."

In 2017, ASMDA provided 16 full scholarships for 9- to 11 year olds to attend Space Camp and awarded four Loretta Spencer Scholarships and a General Dodgen Memorial Academic Scholarship.

Additionally, the organization provided grants to support community events for veterans and presented space and missile defense technical achievement and service excellence awards.

"For the past 23 years, the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association has been supporting those missions in the community and promoting items such as providing scholarships for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students, Space Camp scholarships, and exposing students to opportunities on Redstone Arsenal through Adventures in Engineering," said ASMDA President Julie Schumacher. "Today is very exciting because we get to reunite with members of the community as well as hosting it in such a spectacular venue as the Space and Rocket Center's Davidson Center."

ASMDA Scholars Attend Space Camp

By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public Affairs - July 7, 2016

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Sixteen future explorers began their journey into the future this week in the Rocket City.

The students; recipients of an Air, Space, and Missile Defense Association, or ASMDA, scholarship, spent July 3-8 at Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. On July 6, the scholarship winners were treated to lunch by members of the ASMDA board and had a chance to speak with those who made the week possible.

Col. Thomas Nguyen, chief of staff, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, told the students they may someday be the ones leading America on its journey into space.

"I am sure you have all heard of NASA's Juno Satellite," Nguyen said. "Juno has been on a journey for five years to get to Jupiter and as of two days ago it finally arrived. We go to places like Jupiter because it is in our human nature to explore and to find out answers to tough questions about life, our planet, our solar system and our universe. We have an innate drive to understand, to expand our horizons, to quench our curiosity and fulfil our desire for knowledge.

"All of this is due to our incredible curiosity, the same type of curiosity inside you that brought you all to Space Camp," he added. "Most everyone here is curious about spaceflight and other planets. That is great, however, I would ask you not to limit your interest to one or two subjects. Our world is a complex and wonderful place, and other worlds even more so. So whether you want to become an astronaut or something else, greatness in this life will require you to work hard and be ambitious."

Since 1996, ASMDA has awarded scholarships to children, ages 9-11, of a parent or guardian currently assigned to the USASMDC/ARSTRAT; Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space; Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; Missile and Space Intelligence Center; NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; or Missile Defense Agency, whether military or government civilian.

The 16 Space Camp students this year are from Madison, Gurley and Huntsville; Fort Greely and Delta Junction, Alaska; Peyton and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Omaha, Nebraska; Alexandria, Virginia; and Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. They are: Regan Caple, Jennifer Hamm, Braeden Hayes, Skylar Hayes, Paul Lee, Porter Mroszczyk, Matthew Snodgrass, Aleksandar Vukosavljevic, Joshua Brower, Julianna Williams, Kira Bailey, Trystan Hartzell, Maya Yee, Thomas von Ahlefeld, Ava Moore and Kendal Warren.

Nguyen talked to the campers and told them how proud everyone was of them for being selected and congratulated them on receiving the scholarships.

"I would like to thank the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and ASMDA for giving me this opportunity to speak to you and for providing a place where children, both young and old, can learn about space exploration," Nguyen said. "Every day is a great day when we get a chance to interact with our bright young adventurers and future leaders of this nation. Thank you for your interest and your dedication in the pursuit of learning. You will realize in the near future that learning is a lifetime activity.

"Let your curiosity guide you and drive you to a greater understanding of your world and worlds beyond," he added. "You owe it to yourself to always be inquisitive, and to seek answers, possibly to questions that we have yet to ask. You all have it in you to be astronauts or mathematicians or politicians or whatever you want to be in life. I applaud you for your willingness to learn and encourage you to keep reaching for the stars."

After the luncheon, some of the campers spoke about what they had learned and how excited they were to be at Space Camp.

"I have enjoyed my time at Space Camp," said Kira Bailey from Colorado. "The missions are great because you get to start out on the space shuttle and go to the International Space Station to experiment. I was a payload specialist and it was exciting.

"Space Camp is really fun and if you like space, then you are going to like it a lot," she added.

During the week, the children participated in activities including rocket construction and launch, water activities, a simulated Space Shuttle mission, Mars mission simulators, Manned Maneuvering Unit, Multi-Axis Trainer, and an IMAX movie.

"The mission is the best part," said Aleksandar Vukosavljevic from Alabama. "I like the experiments where we mixed two chemicals and made slime. This is fun and if you like space, you should come here."

"I like that everyone is from different places and they have told me how life is where they are from," he added.

The students were selected for the scholarship based on an essay, school grades, interest in science and space, and financial need. The scholarship covers one week at Space Camp, travel, a flight suit, clothing package, a calling card and spending money.

"My favorite part of Space Camp has probably been the simulators," said Julianna Williams from Alaska. "There is one that is like a hamster ball with rings around it and you spin backwards, forwards, sideways and it is really fun. I enjoy it here because I get to learn things and see all the rockets.

"This is a great experience, and if you have the chance, you should come to Space Camp," she added.

ASMDA Scholars Attend Space Camp

By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDA/ARSTRAT Public Affairs - July 2, 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Sixteen young students spent their summer among the stars.

The students; recipients of an Air, Space, and Missile Defense Association, or ASMDA, scholarship; had a chance to spend a week at Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville June 29-July 3.

On July 1, the scholarship winners were treated to lunch by members of the ASMDA board and had a chance to speak with those who made the week possible.

Col. Dewey A. Granger, chief of staff, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, told the Space Camp scholarship winners someday they may be the ones leading America back to the moon or beyond.

"Don't limit yourself, explore your world and ask questions," Granger said. "Whether you want to become an astronaut, an engineer, a Soldier or something else, greatness in life, regardless of your pursuit, requires you to work hard and learn, then to think.

"Let your curiosity guide you, and drive you to understand about the universe and the worlds beyond this one," he added. "You owe it to yourself to always be curious and to seek answers -- possibly to questions we don't even know to ask yet. Space Camp is designed to help you explore that curiosity. In order to do things that have never been done, we need smart young men and women, just like you, who are curious about our universe. You all have it in you to be astronauts, mathematicians, scientists, Soldiers or whatever you want to be in life but you have to work hard, never quit, always remain curious and do one more positive thing every day."

Since 1996, ASMDA has sponsored children, ages 9-11, of a parent or guardian currently assigned to the USASMDC/ARSTRAT; Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space; Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; Missile and Space Intelligence Center; NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; and Missile Defense Agency, whether military or government civilian, for their Space Camp scholarship.

The 16 Space Camp students this year are from Madison, Harvest, Hazel Green and Huntsville; Fort Greely and Delta Junction, Alaska; Peyton, Colorado; White Plains, Maryland; Centreville, Virginia; and Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. They are: Meghan Aughtman, Ian Bohne, Grace Cardinale, Neha Chopade, Puja Chopade, Summer Collins, Pierce Dalton, Victor Dunagan, Jenna Gray, Shelby Markham, Nathaniel Merchant, Sohan Mynampally, Cheyenne Paine, Rome Reece, Emily Willcockson and Kaelan Wilson.

"ASMDA is very proud to have awarded 16 Space Camp scholarships to kids of your caliber," said Alvin R. Kemmet, Jr., ASMDA president. "You represent our future in science, technology, engineering and math. You should feel very proud of yourselves as this year had the most nomination packages than any other year in recent memory. Your report card grades were outstanding and your essays showed the passion that each one of you has for space and science.

"I know as you finish up your week of space camp, you'll look back on this time as one of the favorite memories in your life and the making of life-long friends," he added. "Who knows, you just may be on a future space shuttle mission or trip to Mars together."

Students were selected for the scholarship based on an essay, school grades, interest in science and space, and financial need. The scholarship covers one week at Space Camp, travel, a flight suit, clothing package, a calling card and spending money.

Granger talked to the campers and told them how proud everyone was of them for being selected and congratulated them on receiving the ASMDA scholarships.

"I'm glad to see so many happy faces," Granger said. "This is a great week and I am excited to talk with you today. Congratulations on being selected to attend Space Camp. You and your families should be very proud of this wonderful accomplishment. Space Camp teaches teamwork, decision-making, and leadership, skills that will stay with you long after you leave here.

"A special thanks to the Air Space and Missile Defense Association for sponsoring these 16 young individuals to attend Space Camp, thank you for believing in our future," he added. "I would like to thank the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for providing a place where children, both young and old, can learn about space exploration."

After the luncheon, some of the campers spoke about what they had learned and how excited they were to be at Space Camp.

"My favorite part of Space Camp is making new friends," said camper Emily Willcockson. "I am so glad I came and I am excited I got to be here. The simulators are a lot of fun and I am thankful I received the scholarship to be here. I want to thank everyone who let us come to Space Camp."

During the week, the children participated in activities, including rocket construction and launch, water activities, a simulated Space Shuttle mission, Mars mission simulators, Manned Maneuvering Unit, Multi-Axis Trainer, and enjoyed an IMAX movie.

"I really liked the simulations," said camper Grace Cardinale from. "It has been fun learning about space and meeting lots of new friends. I think everyone should be able to come here and learn about space. It is really cool."

ASMDA Sends Kids to Space...Camp, That Is

By Mr. Jason B. Cutshaw, USAMDC/ARSTRAT - April 2, 2012

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - This summer, some lucky students will get to a chance to camp among the stars.

The Air, Space and Missile Defense Association is offering 16 scholarships for selected children to attend a one week Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

These scholarships are open to any military or civilian children, ages 9-11, of a parent or guardian currently assigned to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command; Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; Aviation and Missile Command; Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space; Missile and Space Intelligence Center; NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center; Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center; Missile Defense Agency; and those who are contractors working for corporate members of ASMDA.

"We are very excited about the opportunity we are offering the Soldiers and employees of the ASMDA community," ASMDA president David Diaddario said. "The ability to provide this wonderful experience to 16 young children who probably would not otherwise have an opportunity to attend is very rewarding."

The ASMDA scholarship includes one week at Space Camp, July 1-6, roundtrip airfare to and from parent's work location, Space Camp flight suit, Space Camp clothing package, a phone card, a small amount of spending cash and any unaccompanied minor travel fees.

"Space Camp is a wonderful opportunity for any child interested in math and science," said Stacey McSweeney, an SMDC/ARSTRAT employee who has been involved with the program for five years. "They will have the opportunity to learn hands-on details of manned missions into space as well as challenges that are faced by our astronauts.

"Participants will discover the importance of teamwork and hopefully come away with a deeper interest in space that will affect their educational choices in the future," she added.

As the timeline for receiving applications and awarding the scholarships is very tight, ASMDA will not accept applications after the deadline on May 2. The goal is to notify the winners starting on May 23.

Immediately following selection and acceptance, ASMDA will send an information package and begin making flight reservations, if applicable.

Once selected by ASMDA, winners will be required to provide an attendance application, including a camp physical, to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Scholarship application forms are available at www.asmda.us.