Air Defense Artillery (ADA) is a separate branch of the United States Army that applies anti-aircraft weapons like surface tor missiles. It consists of several air defense systems, such as the Patriot Missile System, the Avenger Air Defense system which controls FIM-92 Stinger missile, as well as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Air Defense Artillery was separated from the U.S. Army in 1968 and established at Fort Bliss. This essay describes the history of ADA from 2000 to 2020, claiming that after the events of 9/11, it changed its scope and mission.
To begin with, the mission and the location of ADA should be addressed with regards to whether they changed during the period between 2000 to 2020. The mission of ADA is “to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance” (“Army Publishing Directorate,” n.d.). It fulfills its mission by contributing to several defensive operations. For example, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade served in the Persian Gulf War where the brigade recorded the first incident of a ballistic missile in combat (Hamilton, 2009).
Moreover, the Motto of the branch, “First to Fire” that was adopted in 1986 did not change till the current times (“Army Publishing Directorate,” n.d.). Fort Bliss that is the current location of ADA, plays a crucial role in the homeland security of the U.S. It started to accept anti-aircraft weapons in 1940 and continues to the present day (Hamilton, 2009, p. 22). As such, there are no significant changes in the mission and location of the Air Defense Artillery.
In 2000, Air Defense Artillery School experienced a decline in its human resources. This was a result of the decision of the Army Chief of Staff to men almost all the Army divisions at a total percent of authorization along with the effort to control divisions of the grade and MOS (Hamilton, 2009, p. 316). In the second half of 2001, the authorization was only reached 57%, suggesting that it was difficult to modernize the whole ADA force.
During this time, some units of Force Bliss lacked personnel as many people were left the Army, causing retention problems. As a result, there was a decision to produce an air and defense master plan. This plan was later used in the concepts of Force XXI and Force 2010 (Hamilton, 2009, p. 316). Indeed, this was the effort that showed the ADA the importance of being proactive in order to be relevant to the U.S. Army.
The events of 9/11 left a considerable mark on the work of the Air Defense Artillery. Right after the terroristic attack, the commanding general issued new guidelines to ensure security (Hamilton, 2009, p. 324). Moreover, all air travel was controlled and should be approved by Chief of Staff, Col Wallace B. Hobson. On September 14, the center of Air Defense Artillery played a crucial role. It deployed 978th Military Policy Company that went as one of the first units to the capital city (Hamilton, 2009, p. 326). Moreover, 978th provided security around the damaged Pentagon office through various methods of military control.
The company only returned to Fort Bliss in 2002, preventing severe attacks. On October 7 of 2001, the operation known as Operation Enduring Freedom was planned to reduce the terrorist base camps in Afghanistan (Hamilton, p. 326). The operation was supported by the modern aircraft issued by the ADA. This suggests that ADA is an extremely important branch of the U.S. Army that protects the national security.
It is seen that after the events of 9/11, the work of ADA was altered forever as now their primary enemy was terrorism. In 2002, the Air Defense Artillery Center was said to mobilize, deploy and redeploy the units of Fort Bliss (Hamilton, p. 327). Due to this, the ADA required human resources and additional military equipment, thus increasing the resources of the ADA again compared to its condition in the year 2000. In addition, there were new schools aiming to educate more soldiers and commanders for the ADA. It is clear that after 2001, the ADA obtained the most attention and resources from the national government, as the national security was the priority for the United States during that time. Following that, the Air Defense Artillery further developed and activated its units to mitigate the national security.
With regards to the national interest, the focus of the Air Defense Artillery was the shift to the Middle East. From this point, most of their work was done and continue to proceed in that region. Additionally, in the spring of 2002, the ADA operated in Southwest Asia that lasted for six months (Hamilton, 2009; Kim & Seol, 2016). In 2003, there was another operation called Operation Iraqi Freedom that began on March 17. It was aimed to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s influence (Hamilton, p. 329). Here, the ADA had a significant role in the operation as it controlled the air force.
In 2004, there was a withdrawal of the divisional air defense battalions. The ADA Centre started to pay more attention to driver trainings by offering drivers training courses (Hamilton, p.350). By the end of 2004, there were the largest amount of truck drivers than in any other posts. In 2005, there were the most profound events in the Air Defense Artillery that is called Base Realignment and Closure (Hamilton, p, 357). It was decided to move the center of ADA and its school from Fort Bliss to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to reduce the number of TRADOC installations from 13 to 8. In 2006, they returned back to Fort Bliss, and further had combat development trainings.
However, in 2010 I again moved to Fort Sill but later came back to Fort Bliss. Such movements were due to strategic and educational purposes. Compared to the period between 2001 and 2006, there were no serious changes in the Air Defense Artillery after the year 2007. Until recent times, the ADA is actively establishing new units of its forces, providing security for the population and the country. Their last operation was again in the Middle East, the Syrian case.
In conclusion, the Air Defense Artillery is a critical branch of the U.S. Army that ensures the homeland security. Its history is closely related to the international security issues, such as the terroristic attacks of 9/11 as well as Iraq invasion. Moreover, the Air Defense Artillery played a crucial role in reducing the threat from the external enemies of the United States. The ADA, along with its School, continues to provide national security and stabilize the situation in the Middle East region.
Army Publishing Directorate. (n.d.). Army Publishing Directorate. Web.
Hamilton, J. A. (2009). Blazing Skies: Air Defense Artillery on Fort Bliss, Department of the Army.
Kim, J. K., & Seol, H. (2016). The Optimal Deployment Problem of Air Defense Artillery for Missile Defense. Journal of the Society of Korea Industrial and Systems Engineering, 39(1), 98-104.