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SMDC welcomes new commanding general

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – U.S. Army Henry "Hank" J. Dickinson and Deborah R. Weisner place three stars on the uniform of their newly promoted father, Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Jan. 5. Dickinson assumed command of SMDC and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense following his promotion. (U.S. Army photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – U.S. Army Henry "Hank" J. Dickinson and Deborah R. Weisner place three stars on the uniform of their newly promoted father, Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Jan. 5. Dickinson assumed command of SMDC and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense following his promotion. (U.S. Army photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

U.S. Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, passes a guidon to Army Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson during a change of command ceremony conducted in the Von Braun III auditorium on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Jan. 5, 2016. Dicksinson assumed command of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie E. David)

U.S. Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, passes a guidon to Army Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson during a change of command ceremony conducted in the Von Braun III auditorium on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Jan. 5, 2016. Dicksinson assumed command of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie E. David)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson assumed command of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense from Lt. Gen. David L. Mann during a change of command ceremony conducted in the Von Braun III auditorium at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Jan. 5.

During the ceremony, Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, accepted the USASMDC/ARSTRAT colors from Mann and passed them to Dickinson. Following the ceremony, he took a moment to thank Mann for all he has done for the Army and the command.

"The reason that Dave has been able to make such an impact, whether as a lieutenant in Hawaii or as a lieutenant general here at SMDC/ARSTRAT, is because he takes care of people both inside and outside his organization," Allyn said. "He has a level of empathy, a genuine care and concern for others, that inspires excellence. And he regularly goes out of his way for people, selflessly serving, because that's what inspiring leaders do. Dave Mann reveled in the opportunity to lead, building trust with those he served and taking care of people along the way. He tackled his role with an enthusiasm that inspired everyone around him.

"For those who have known Dave Mann for a long time, his reputation and ability to see others' priorities come as no surprise," he added. "Dave, you bore more than your share of the task. Thank you, and congratulations on behalf of a grateful Army and a grateful nation. I am proud of you; proud to have shared service with you; proud to call you warrior, brother and friend."

Allyn welcomed Dickinson and challenged him to build upon the SMDC legacy.

"We are fortunate to have newly minted Lt. Gen. Jim Dickinson and his wonderful spouse, Angie, ready to assume the mantle of leadership," Allyn said. "Jim is well-known and highly respected throughout the Air Defense Artillery community, and for more than three decades he has held a variety of critical positions. Jim Dickinson is uniquely qualified to command this great organization because he understands, from his time at U.S. Strategic Command and his diverse air and missile defense assignments, the unique role that space and missile defense forces play in our joint force.

"Leaders of character build trust within their units so that when the chips are down Soldiers will continue to fight," he added. "Jim - completely committed to his Soldiers, his family and our country - has taken this to heart. Jim and Angie, welcome. We look forward to working with you in the coming months on issues of great importance to our Army and our nation, and we know that you will lead SMDC/ARSTRAT with singular distinction. We wish you the very best of luck as you navigate through the challenges and capitalize on the abundant opportunities ahead."

As the event continued, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, U.S. Strategic Command commander, presided over part of the ceremony where Dickinson assumed command of Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.

The SMDC commanding general also serves as commander for the JFCC IMD and provides the USSTRATCOM commander with synchronized missile defense plans, conducts ballistic missile defense, operations support and advocates for missile defense capabilities to deter and defend the United States, deployed forces and its allies against ballistic missile attacks.

Hyten thanked Mann for his service to the nation and those who serve at SMDC.

"For the past three and a half years, Lt. Gen. Dave Mann has guided these dedicated service members and civilians with a steady hand," Hyten said. "In your time here at SMDC/ARSTRAT and JFCC IMD, your exceptional leadership has made a tremendous impact on this organization.

"To the strategic warriors of SMDC/ARSTRAT, congratulations and well done," he added. "I cannot underscore the importance of JFCC-IMD in supporting our nation's security."

SMDC serves as the Army Service Component Command to USSTRATCOM. ARSTRAT conducts space and missile defense operations and provides planning, integration, control and coordination of Army forces and capabilities in support of USSTRATCOM missions of strategic deterrence, integrated missile defense, space operations and cyberspace operations.

Hyten congratulated Dickinson and said he looks forward to serving with him.

"He is imminently qualified to take command of this prestigious organization," Hyten said. "Jim, I know you are going to bring the same visionary leadership and innovative solutions to this command that you brought to all your previous assignments. I very much look forward to working with you and the stellar professionals at both JFCC IMD and SMDC/ARSTRAT."

In a separate ceremony before the change of command, Allyn promoted Dickinson from major general to lieutenant general.

During the change of command, Dickinson thanked everyone for their kind words and said he and his wife, Angie, look forward to working with the Soldiers, civilians and family members of the SMDC community.

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