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News | Jan. 9, 2024

SMDC Welcomes New Commanding General

By Jason Cutshaw U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command

Lt. Gen. Sean A. Gainey assumed command of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense from Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler during a Change of Command hosted at the Von Braun III auditorium, Jan. 9.

Gainey said he and his wife, Vera, look forward to working with the Soldiers, civilians and family members of USASMDC.

“Vera and I are honored to be a part of this amazing team and building on the great reputation of this command,” Gainey said. “Together, we will realize the Army’s space vision and ensure we maintain a modernized missile defense force while ensuring the health of our forces remains our priority.

“We continue to ask a lot of our Army space and missile defense forces,” he added. “I am truly amazed at how often they respond in every occasion. It is always about the great people across our force and this command. This is how we will continue to seize the high ground and be all we can be.”

Prior to the Change of Command, Gen. Randy A. George, Army chief of staff, promoted Gainey from major general to lieutenant general. During the ceremony, George accepted the USASMDC colors from Karbler and passed them to Gainey.

“Welcome to the team, I am glad you are here,” George said to Gainey. “Sean is an absolute expert, a selfless teammate and knows how to get stuff done better than almost anybody I’ve met in my time in the Army. I know that SMDC is in the best possible hands with you coming on board. 
“I want to thank the entire SMDC team for what you do,” he added. “You are quiet professionals who always get the job done. We couldn’t be more proud of what you do.”

After thanking the USASMDC team, George spoke about the recently released Army Space Vision and how the command will lead the Army charge in space operations.

George said that by outlining Army roles and missions in and through the space domain, the vision will give leaders a better understanding of how they can leverage space capabilities to improve their ability to deploy, fight and win the nation’s wars.

“The secretary of the Army, sergeant major of the Army and I recently signed the Army Space Vision supporting multidomain operations,” George said. “Our challenges in space, missile defense and high-altitude operations needs for the next fight are substantial. And I know we have exactly the right leader to take up these challenges in Lt. Gen. Sean Gainey.”

Gainey will also serve as commander for the JFCC IMD and provide the commander of U.S. Space Command, Gen. James H. Dickinson, with synchronized missile defense plans, ballistic missile defense operations support as well as advocate for missile defense capabilities.

Dickinson presided over part of the ceremony where Gainey assumed command of JFCC IMD. He thanked Karbler for his service to the nation and those who serve at USASMDC.

“We all have the privilege to honor and celebrate the retirement of Lt. Gen. Dan Karbler,” Dickinson said. “When I think of Dan as a leader I think of someone who is passionate. Passionate about people, passionate about the mission and passionate about everything in life. He is loyal and he is a friend.

“I want to congratulate you and the entire Karbler family for everything you have done in your selfless service to this nation and increasing our national defense while taking care of Soldiers and families,” he added.

Karbler took command in December 2019, and as he addressed the audience one last time, he talked about not only the Army he is leaving, but also the USASMDC family he said he will miss.

“As always, it’s people first,” he added. “Thank you for your friendship, thank you for your great support to the Karbler family, and I look forward to being a part of this Huntsville community a bit longer.”

Karbler then spoke of how his wife, Leah, who retired as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force after 26 years of service, has been the foundation of their family and said he looks forward to their next adventures.

“Leah gave up a career, friends, and an Air Force way of life to follow this Army guy around,” Karbler said. “I just thank you for your leadership, your touch and your ability to nurture everybody, and I look forward to the rest of our lives together. I love you.”