Provide trained and ready space forces to conduct continuous global space force enhancement, space support, space control and contingency activities in support of combatant commanders, U.S. government agencies and international partners.
Col. Eric D. Little, Brigade Commander
Col. Eric D. Little received his commission in 1993 through ROTC at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Commissioned as an Aviation officer, he completed the Initial Entry Rotary Wing and Aviation Officer Basic Courses in June 1994 and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, at Camp Coiner and Seoul Air Base, Republic of Korea, where he served as battalion assistant S-4 and a UH-1 platoon Leader.
Upon completion of the UH-60 Qualification Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, in late 1995, he was assigned to 4th Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), as a UH-60 platoon Leader, POL platoon Leader, and assistant S-3. In 1998 he attended the Aviation Officer Advanced Course at Fort Rucker, followed by assignment to 3rd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment (ATS) in Wiesbaden, Germany, with duties as assistant S-3 and battalion S-1. Little then assumed command of C Company, 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, in Giebelstadt, Germany, in 2000. Upon completion of command, he was assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado, as the deputy G-3 Air for the 7th Infantry Division. In 2002, Little assumed command of Stetson Troop, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, deploying the troop to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Returning from Iraq, he was assigned to Fort Carson as the G-3 Air for the 7th Infantry Division. In 2005, he transitioned to U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command with a primary duty to stand up the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC-IMD) at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and later serve as the J37 for that command.
In 2006, he moved to Quantico, Virginia, as a student at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Upon completion of schooling, Little was accepted as a Functional Area 40, space operations officer. He completed the Space Operations Officer Qualification course in late 2007 and returned to Colorado Springs with an assignment to Peterson Air Force Base, serving in the 1st Space Battalion as an Army Space Support Team leader and later as commander, 1st Space Company. Upon completion of this command, he served as executive officer to the deputy commanding general, USASMDC/ARSTRAT. In 2010, Little deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, as the deputy director of Space Forces, U.S. Central Command. In 2011, Little returned to Peterson Air Force Base for a six-month assignment to the G33, USASMDC/ARSTRAT. He then attended the Joint Forces Staff College en route to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, with duty at the Joint Navigation Warfare Center, U.S. Strategic Command. In 2014, he attended the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, with subsequent assignment to U.S. Army Pacific as the director, Strategic Programs Division, where he was responsible for Space, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), and Special Technical Operations.
Little has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Bowie State University, a Masters of Military Studies from the Marine Corps University and a Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the Joint Forces Staff College, the Space 300 Course, the Space Operations Officer Qualification Course, and the Combined Arms Service Staff School.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1OLC), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3OLC), the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Senior Aviator Badge, the Master Space Badge, the Air Assault Badge and Parachutist Badge. He is qualified in the UH-1, OH-58 and UH-60 aircraft.
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert E. Bell
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert E. Bell is a native of Faison, North Carolina. He graduated from Hobbton High School in 1989. In September 1990, Bell enlisted in the Army as a 16S man portable air defense system crewmember. He attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1995, he transitioned to a 16R Linebacker/Bradley crewmember.
Bell served in numerous leadership positions from Stinger team chief to battalion command sergeant major. His previous assignments include battalion command sergeant major, 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment; brigade operations sergeant major, 108th ADA Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; battalion operations sergeant major, 5th Bn., 7th ADA, Kaiserslautern, Germany; master evaluator, 108th ADA Bde., Fort Bragg; first sergeant, 1st Bn., 1st ADA, Okinawa, Japan; first sergeant, Alpha Battery, 1st Bn., 56th ADA, Fort Bliss, Texas; operation sergeant, 11th ADA Bde., Fort Bliss; platoon sergeant, Bravo Battery, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Stewart, Georgia; assistant operation sergeant, 4th Bn., 3rd ADA, Kitzingen, Germany; platoon sergeant, Bravo Battery, 4th Bn., 3rd ADA; Linebacker squad leader, Alpha Battery, 1st Bn., 3rd ADA, Fort Stewart; Bradley gunner, Alpha Battery, 5th Bn., 5th ADA, Camp Casey, Korea; Stinger team chief, Charlie Battery, 1st Bn., 3rd ADA, Fort Stewart; and Stinger gunner, Bravo Battery, 4th Bn., 3rd ADA, Kitzingen, Germany. His deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Active Fence and Operation Inherent Resolve.
His military and civilian education includes Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, First Sergeant Course, Sergeant Major Course (Class 63), Scout Platoon Leader Course, Equal Opportunity Leaders Course and Sergeant Major Force Management Course. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Technical Management from DeVry University.
Bell's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Army Achievement Medal (eight oak leaf clusters), Air Force Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal (eighth award), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 4, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 6, Combat Action Badge, German Schutzenschnur Badge (Silver) and the Presidential Unit Citation. Bell is a recipient of the Distinguished Order of Saint Barbara (2003) and the Honorable Order of Saint Christopher (2009).
Since the nation's earliest efforts in space exploration, the Army's contributions to the American space program continue to evolve and diversify. The United States Army Space Command began in September 1984 as an Army Staff Field Element. The Field Element acted as liaison to United States Air Force Space Command and initiated plans for Army participation in the Unified Army Space Planning Group, serving as the Army Element of the newly formed United States Space Command. In August 1986, the group was again redesignated as the Army Space Agency. The agency became the Army component to United States Space Command and a Field Operating Agency of Headquarters, Department of the Army.
On April 7, 1988, United States Army Space Command was activated and organized to support the field Army. It absorbed the planning and support functions of the Army Space Agency and assumed operational space missions. In August 1992, United States Army Space Command became an element of United States Army Space and Strategic Defense Command; and, in 1997, became an element of the Army's newest major command, United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
The 1st Space Brigade began operations in 2001 and was officially activated as a provisional brigade in 2003 to fill a growing capability gap recognized by the Army leadership to support Army forces and their critical dependence on space capabilities and products. The brigade was activated Oct. 16, 2005, as a modified table of organization and equipment unit designed to provide space products to the warfighter, followed by Army Space Support Teams and long haul satellite communications in the 1990s.
Today, the 1st Space Brigade has three one-of-a-kind battalions: the 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), the 1st Space Battalion and the 2nd Space Battalion. The brigade also has a special training and oversight relationship with the 117th Space Battalion (Colorado Army National Guard). The 53rd Signal Battalion and 1st Space Battalion are charged with providing day-to-day space support to the operational Army. The 2nd Space Battalion is the Army's only United States Army Reserve (USAR) Space Battalion. Since the fall of 2001, Army Space Warriors have executed over 60 deployments in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and multiple contingency operations. Each day, the commander's Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and contractors work on the cutting edge of normalizing and providing space support. The 1st Space Brigade continues to expand its mission in support of land warriors. The U.S. Army and the joint military community have recognized and continue to embrace the force multiplier provided by space capabilities and products. The 1st Space Brigade will continue to provide these capabilities all over the world, wherever and whenever it is needed.
- 1st Space Battalion -
- 2nd Space Battalion -
- 53rd Signal Battalion -
The 1st Space Battalion was activated Dec. 15, 1999, with Lt. Col. Timothy R. Coffin as its first commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel P. Watkins as its first senior enlisted leader.
Its activation signified an important commitment by the Army to fully embrace space operations as a core competency for the Army. The 1st Space Battalion was formed to care for Soldiers and to provide an operational headquarters for command and control of the Army space forces. The battalion's original mission was to provide existing and emerging space capabilities to U. S. forces and to provide in-theater tactical ballistic missile warning. It accomplished its mission through the Army Space Support Company (ARSSC), the Theater Missile Warning Company (TMWC) and a Headquarters Company. But, in the first year the 1st Space Battalion was in existence, its mission expanded to include conducting space control operations in support of the National Command Authority, US and allied forces.
The 53d Signal Battalion was constituted Oct. 18, 1927, in the Regular Army. It was activated June 1, 1941, at Camp Bowie, Texas, and inactivated Sept. 30, 1945, in Italy. It was activated again Sept. 21, 1954, at Fort Hood, Texas, and inactivated June 23, 1971, at Fort Lewis, Washington. It was then reactivated Oct. 16, 2005, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
The 53rd Signal Battalion has a long history of campaign participation credit, to include France, Italy and Tunisia during World War II, multiple counteroffensives during the Vietnam War and recently supporting the warfighter during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
The unit received Meritorious Unit Commendations for its campaign participation in World War II with streamer for the European theater and the Vietnam War, with streamers for each year of participation from 1966 to 1969.
The 53rd Signal Battalion is the oldest operational battalion in the 1st Space Brigade and the only unit in the Department of Defense that conducts payload and transmissions control of the Defense Satellite Communications Systems (DSCS) and Wideband Global Satellite Communications (WGS) System constellations. The management of these constellations by the 53rd Signal Battalion ensures continuous communications connectivity for mission critical subscribers from the president of the United States to the warfighters and National Agencies engaged in the Global War on Terrorism.
Soldiers of this globally dispersed battalion accomplish this vital mission from Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Centers (WSOC) located at Fort Detrick and Fort Meade, Maryland; Landstuhl, Germany; Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickham Wahiawa-Annex, Wahiawa, Hawaii; Fort Buckner, Okinawa, Japan; and a Battalion Satellite Operation Center (BSOC) located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The battalion is headquartered in the U.S. Army Strategic Command Headquarters on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The Soldiers of this fine unit stand ready to provide the critical wideband satellite communications so important in today's operational environment.
The 53rd Signal Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia is a Signal orange shield with a bonfire and smoke representing one of the primitive forms of signaling. Attached under the shield is a tripartite silver scroll inscribed "FIRST, LAST, ALWAYS."
Higher Headquarters - U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command