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News | Oct. 20, 2022

Army space leader says space begins, ends on the ground

By Lira Frye U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command

With straight talk, the Army’s senior air defender emphasized the importance of the space domain and challenged industry to meet the demands of Army space readiness and modernization.

Delivering a U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command overview at the Space Industry Days, Oct. 18, in Los Angeles, Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, described the space domain’s significance in relation to the other domains.

“Space is equally as important as air, land, sea and cyber, and we have to recognize that,” he said. “Space cannot afford to be untethered from the other domains.

“There’s a misconception that space as a domain is everything that’s on orbit, when in fact it’s not,” he said. “I would argue that space begins and ends on the ground.” 

Karbler’s remarks come not long after the Army released an update to doctrine that will change how Soldiers train and fight in the future. Field Manual 3-0 establishes multi-domain operations as the Army’s operational concept, with a focus on large-scale combat operations against peer adversaries who possess the capability to contest the joint force in all domains.

“We’re going to see a significant emphasis on the space domain and the role space plays,” Karbler said. “Not just from our perspective, but what the threat can do to us in and through space.”

As the Army looks at growing formations to support multi-domain operations, Karbler said that Army space is a key player from the theater level on down, and USASMDC is doing its best to execute that space mission today and for the Army of 2030. 

Closing out the presentation, a participant asked Karbler how industry could make its technologies available to the Army.  

In response, Karbler asked the predominantly Space Force-focused industry how many were at a recent Army exposition. Only a few of the participants raised their hands.

Karbler challenged industry partners to broaden their engagement options.

“How can industry help? Show up at the Army events. Bring your space capabilities,” he said. “For a service (the Army) that is the biggest user of space in the Department of Defense, you would think that this crowd and industry would want to have a play at Army (symposiums or expositions).  That is how you get your capabilities recognized by the Army.”

Karbler noted that as the Army goes forward with FM 3.0 and multi-domain operations and as the joint warfighting concept 3.0 comes out and “space becomes an even bigger player, there will be plenty of opportunities for industry.”