Army Space Command: Top 15 Cool Facts

Today, I want to talk about the Army Space Command.

Many people assume that the Army primarily works with tanks, infantry and various types of military specialties such as those. What isn’t realized is how much the Army is dealing with “The Final Frontier,” as they call space in Star Trek.

Yes, the United States Air Force does handle a lot of what goes on in space in regards to the military, but the United States Army is also quite involved in the space frontier.

And, we must always remember that the Air Force used to be a U.S. Army subordinate command. It is now common that all branches of the U.S. Military work jointly to reach out to the final frontier…space.

Whenever I gaze up at the moon, I feel like I’m on a time machine. I am back to that precious pinpoint of time, standing on the foreboding – yet beautiful – Sea of Tranquility. I could see our shining blue planet Earth poised in the darkness of space. ~ Buzz Aldrin, Astronaut

Are you familiar with the Army Space Command? In today’s post, I am going to provide 15 cool facts about the Army Space Command. I am using a wide variety of resources to attain this information. You can find them in the reference section at the end. So scroll down and learn.

1: 1997

The United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command was established in 1997 during the Clinton administration. Much of this came when President Reagan pushed the “Star Wars” program.

2: Headquarters

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command (SMDC/ARSTRAT) has their headquarters at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama.

3: Current Commander

The current Commander for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command is Lieutenant General David Mann.

4: Objectives For Now And The Future

SMDC/ARSTRAT has 3 primary objectives for now and the future. They are:

  1. Now: Providing trained and prepared space and missile defense forces to serve the nation.
  2. Tomorrow: Building future space and missile defense forces.
  3. Ahead: Researching, testing and integrating space, missile, cyber and related technologies.

5: In The Lead

The space cold war has been a primary aspect of the United States Army and the Department of Defense. When we look at how we stand in the race to have the best military space programs, we find both China and Russia trying to keep pace. But, the United States is leading the cold war in space.

While we hope that peace will be maintained in the heavens, we must be prepared and ready. With the Army Space Command along with joint space operations, the United States will hold the pace and keep the lead.

6: Subordinate Commands

army space command patchWith the Headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Army Space Command also has various other subordinate commands. They are:

  • 1st Space Brigade, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado

  • 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado

  • U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / U.S. Army Strategic Command (Forward) located in Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC)

  • Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab (SMDBL)

  • Space and Missile Defense Acquisition Center (SMDAC)

7: Military Satellite Systems

The United States military has multiple types of satellites in space. They are:

  • Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Communications System – 4 in orbit

  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program – 2 in orbit

  • Defense Satellite Communications System III – 5 in orbit

  • Defense Support Program – Classified

  • Enhanced Polar System – 2 in orbit

  • Global Broadcast System – 2 in orbit

  • Global Positioning System – 30 in orbit

  • Interim Polar System – 2 in orbit

  • Milstar Satellite Communications System – 5 in orbit

  • Space Based Surveillance System – 5 in orbit

  • Space Tracking and Surveillance System – 1 in orbit

  • UHF Follow-On Satellite – 9 in orbit

  • Wideband Global SATCOM – 6 in orbit

There are also a number of intelligence satellites that are operated by U.S. agencies in cooperation with the military. They are all highly secret.

8: Stuff In Space

I took a look at what we have in space along with Russia and China:

United States

  • 1,003 satellites

  • 61 space probes

  • 2,590 space debris


  • 1,379 satellites

  • 35 space probes

  • 2,104 space debris


  • 78 satellites

  • 1 space probe

  • 2,650 space debris

9: Colonel Douglas Wheelock

There is a common assumption that astronauts come from the Air Force. The Army has had some exceptional astronauts too. One is Colonel Douglas Wheelock. He has earned various badges and decorations for his space abilities. Read about him here.

10: Decorations

The space frontier has several decorations for those who are willing to explore its depths. The badges and awards are:

  • Master Army Astronaut Badge

  • Master Space Operations Badge

  • NASA Space Flight Medal

  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal

  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor

11: Fact Sheets

If you are interested in knowing even more, there are various fact sheets available. Here are some:

  • Army Space Master Plan

  • Extended Air Defense Simulation

  • Future Warfare Center

  • Regional Satellite Communication Support Centers

  • Robust Electric Laser Initiative

  • Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site Distributed Operations

  • U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command

12: Army Space Command On Facebook

You can find SMDC on Facebook here.

13: Army Space Command On Twitter

You will find SMDC on Twitter here.

14: Army Space Command On YouTube

You will also find SMDC on YouTube here.

15: Army Space Command On Flickr

You can find SMDC on Flickr here.

Final Thoughts

There are many people who believe that the next big war will be not on the Earth, but in the skies above. Space has become the object that is vastly unexplored.

There are major moves to guarantee that any and all of our resources in space are protected, and that our nation is protected from any attacks that could come from space.

The Army, as well as the rest of our military is hard at work making sure that we are technologically superior in regards to space.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that we should be using budget money for space related defenses?

We would love to hear from any who are or were within the Army Space Command. Please tell us more about the moves the Army is making to stay in front of the cold war in space.

Thank you. You can post any comments or questions in the comment area below.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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