In response to increasingly complex threats, the U.S. Army is charting a clear path forward to provide flexible, agile and integrated air and missile defense forces capable of deploying, fighting and winning against any adversary.
To communicate how the Air and Missile Defense, or AMD, enterprise is postured to synchronize efforts to execute multi-domain operations, defend the Homeland and succeed in future operational environments, the Army recently published the Army Air and Missile Defense 2028. This document, developed by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, is informed by the National Defense and National Military Strategies, and nests with the Missile Defense Review, the Army Strategy, the U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, and the Army Modernization Strategy.
Army Air and Missile Defense 2028 provides the Army’s overarching vision for the AMD force, describes how the AMD force is postured to support the Army and joint forces, and articulates what must be accomplished to achieve the 2028 desired end state of preventing and defeating adversary air and missile attacks through a combination of deterrence, active and passive defense, and support to attack operations.
“Our vision is that the AMD force of 2028 will provide the combatant commanders with a flexible, agile, and integrated AMD force capable of executing multi-domain operations and defending the homeland, regional joint and coalition forces, and critical assets in support of unified land operations,” said Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, USASMDC/ARSTRAT commanding general. “To do this, we will execute four lines of effort. We will modernize and develop AMD capabilities; build AMD capacity for multi-domain operations; provide trained and ready AMD forces; and maintain forward presence and build allied and partner capacity.”
Dickinson serves as the Army’s AMD enterprise integrator and is responsible for synchronizing the balanced implementation of Army AMD efforts across the functions of force planning and sourcing requirements, combat and materiel development, and AMD acquisition and lifecycle management. The AMD enterprise consists of those agencies and organizations that develop, maintain, sustain, train, and employ Army AMD assets. Inherent with the role of the AMD enterprise integrator is the orchestration of consistent AMD strategic communication messaging themes.
The AMD enterprise remains focused on modernization initiatives and balancing fiscal resources to ensure the timely development and implementation of the AMD modernization priorities: Maneuver Short Range Air Defense, or SHORAD; the Indirect Fire Protection System, or IFPC; a Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, to replace the current Patriot radar; and the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS.
AMD forces are a critical enabler for multi-domain operations, or MDOs, as they protect maneuvering ground forces, defend critical assets in the theater and operational support areas, and help create windows of superiority in the air domain that the joint force can exploit.
Dickinson said the Army will have AMD capabilities across all operational areas as defined by multi-domain operations, to include ballistic missile defense capabilities designed to protect assets in the strategic and tactical support areas; cruise missile and aircraft defense forces intended to protect assets in the operational and tactical support areas, and the close areas; and counter-unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, and counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar capabilities support the fight in the close area.
He added that a significant shift in Army AMD formations in the future will be multi-mission AMD battalions with a mix of capabilities. For example, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, and Patriot; or Patriot and IFPC; or Maneuver- SHORAD and IFPC. In addition, future formations will employ tailored force packages – composite battalion, battery or platoon sized – as the mission dictates.
“We need integrated fires, both offensive and defensive, across domains, regions and missions, using multi-mission, high demand, low density assets,” Dickinson said. “Our future architecture will be layered and integrated, utilizing the full suite of space, cyber, electronic warfare, as well as land and air sensors, to match the best shooter with the best sensor. Offensive and defensive integration during multi-domain operations will enable neutralizing enemy missile forces prior to launch.”
To achieve the AMD force of 2028, the Army is developing AMD capabilities to overmatch adversaries, prioritizing protection of the maneuver forces and the ability to defeat complex, integrated attacks through the air domain. Continued modernization of air and missile defenses, including the development and fielding of LTAMDS, M-SHORAD, IFPC and IBCS will result in a multi-mission AMD force capable of providing protection throughout the MDO battlespace framework.
The Army has made AMD one of its top six modernization priorities, beginning with the production of M-SHORAD systems and also selecting Iron Dome as the interim IFPC.
The Army is also making investments in personnel and increased AMD force structure by recently activating an air defense artillery, or ADA, brigade in Japan and an ADA SHORAD battalion in Europe. These and the additional formations to follow will contain a mix of capabilities will be agile, rapidly tailorable and scalable, employing tailored force packages as the mission dictates.
Leveraging the 2018 Air Defense Artillery Training Strategy, the Army is developing flexible and adaptive AMD leaders and Soldiers who are able to master AMD’s core competencies, expertly employ fielded systems, and fully exploit new capabilities. Training will be tough, realistic, inter-active and battle-focused, integrating the synthetic training environment’s virtual, constructive and gaming applications.
Through extensive forward presence, Army AMD assures allies and partners and provides a credible deterrent to adversaries. The continued cooperation toward interoperability with allies and partners significantly increases the capabilities of the combined defense.
The Army AMD forces will continue to reduce the barriers of foreign disclosure, increase technical integration and interoperability, and emphasize the necessity of a shared commitment to a combined defense.
“The Army of 2028 will be ready to deploy, fight and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere, in a joint, multi-domain, high-intensity conflict, while simultaneously deterring others and maintaining its ability to conduct irregular warfare,” Dickinson said.