September 29, 2015 – About a third of the Army’s space operations officers convened in Colorado to train and share ideas during the Functional Area 40 Training Forum September 15-17.
Lt. Gen. David L. Mann, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command commanding general, talked about the importance of the forum.
“This is a very important event, especially in a community like ours where we provide a unique skill set,” said Mann. “A lot of folks do not know about the capabilities you provide. And the fact that we have an opportunity to get together and share information, have some discussions, and leverage what everyone is doing day in and day out is very powerful.”
Mike Connolly, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Army Space Personnel Development Office director, said the purpose of the forum was to bring the FA40 community together to discuss recent and future activity and to get everyone on the same sheet of music. The agenda, which was focused on training, featured a wide variety of speakers.
“We currently have a population of 297 FA40s, and there’s more than 100 registered for this week’s events,” said Connolly. “Many FA40 officers are in transition, in school or deployed overseas. The fact that we have a third of our career field in one location says a lot about the importance of what we do and more significantly the interest that the community has of knowing what’s going on.”
FA40 officers serve in operational positions supporting Army and Joint DoD organizations that focus on developing and integrating space capabilities, as well as operationally supporting the Warfighter with space-based capabilities. Mann discussed the importance of space operations officers.
Since his time at SMDC/ARSTRAT, Mann said it is becoming abundantly clear about the special capabilities the FA40s bring to the fight.
“It’s very important that we provide the warfighter with space enabled support,” Mann continued. “Whether it’s in terms of NAVWAR (navigation warfare), which is really getting a lot of emphasis these days, or in terms of helping to train Soldiers on how to identify a degraded or congested environment and how to work through it to achieve victory on the battlefield.
“I’m extremely proud of what the FA40 population provides,” Mann said. “I truly believe that in the future, you’re going to see more and more demand for what you bring to the fight.”
Connolly said the forum was not just for FA40s, even though that is what is focused on the most.
“Everybody can contribute to what we do,” he said. “It’s very important that we do get a wide foundation of knowledge that influences how not only we as FA40s operate in the field but we as the Army Space Personnel Development Office manages people’s careers.”