India’s Chief of Defence meets key missile defense leadership

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Alissa Modrow
  • Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense

At the invitation of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, visited military points of interest at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 29, 2021.

Rawat met with leadership from North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Space Command, and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.

Rawat, with 42 years of service, became the Chief of Defence Staff in December 2019, a position roughly equivalent to the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He, along with Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta, Air Commodore Premkumar Krishnaswamy and Brig. LS Lidder were greeted by Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw, deputy commander, USSPACECOM, and Col. Geoffrey Adams, deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense. 

“The purpose of the visit was to provide the CDS with a JFCC IMD mission overview and discuss U.S. integrated air and missile defense command and control organizations and their roles and responsibilities as a crucial element of the joint force in warfighting. Additionally, we provided a top level overview of the U.S. military's training and education framework. Lastly, we provided an operational level review of lessons learned and best practices of our joint C2 capabilities,” according to Thomas Walton, action officer for the event.

With particular interest in JFCC IMD and how the United States executes multi-layer defenses in an area of operations, Rawat requested and received a mission brief outlining the U.S. integrated air and missile defense.

"General Rawat was very interested in the ‘people’ and the intercommunication between different warfighting functions. His questions and concerns focused on the best way to control the battle space from an integrated air and missile defense aspect," said Senior Master Sgt.  Michael List, senior enlisted leader for JFCC IMD. 

Adams, during the mission brief, delved into JFCC IMD’s essential role as the paramount integrated missile defense command in four lines of effort: synchronization in global mission defense planning, conduct operations support and asset management, execute joint ballistic missile defense training and exercises, and advocate for future capabilities.

“We discussed the lessons learned and best practices for air-to-ground integration, airspace management, and integration of air and missile defense,” Adams said.

While there is no official relationship between JFCC IMD and India at this time, JFCC IMD does execute its international engagement strategy with missile defense partners and allies. These are similar to events that Indian forces have attended at the regional level including Pacific Air Force’s hosting of India Air Force members at the annual executive steering group with Pacific IAMD Center personnel at Camp Smith in Hawaii, conceptualizing future IAMD engagement planning.

There are plans in the near future for senior leader seminars; IAMD academics; tactics, techniques, and procedures development; and table-top engagements, with USINDOPACOM and the Pacific IAMD Center. In addition, India along with Japan and Australia have been invited to attend the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command IAMD Seminar hosted by Brig. Gen. Mark Holler in December.

List concluded, “This was an amazing opportunity to be part of cross-cultural talks on integrated missile defense and can open doors for possible future growth between the United States and India.”