In the fifteen years since the U.S. Army Space Command (USARSPACE) was activated, soldiers from this command have pioneered innovative and revolutionary ways for employing space capabilities on behalf of the warfighter. At the time this history was sent to press, Army space soldiers were deployed worldwide in support of a variety of critical missions. Army space support units were present during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, providing force enhancement, missile attack warning, and information operations support to commanders in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Other Army space soldiers, working in both the United States and overseas, delivered the worldwide long-haul satellite communications support and other space products needed to maintain an effective military deterrent in Korea and other areas. As these examples attest, Army space soldiers are today playing an important role across the entire spectrum of operations.
This history considers the establishment and subsequent evolution of the Army Space Support Team (ARSST) organization, created to provide space products and expertise to field units, thereby enhancing their intelligence and operational planning capabilities. This history focuses on the period from 1986 to 1998, when a handful of soldiers and civilians experimenting with new technologies and concepts sought to leverage the "ultimate high ground" on behalf of the land force. The history discusses the hard-won lessons learned through repeated deployments and exercises, calling attention to their illustrations and setbacks as well as to their many successes. Ultimately, it seeks to explain how those early visionaries established a foundation for the progress that the Army has achieved over the past five years, as illustrated by the importance of space in today's land combat operations, and how these early lessons continue to provide valuable insights for the Army as it transforms for the future.