US Army Space and Missile Defense has new commander

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense has a new man in charge: Lieutenant Gen.  Daniel L. Karbler.

Prior to taking on the role as commander, Karbler served as special assistant to the commanding general, U.S. Army Material Command.

Karbler brings more than 30 years of leadership and technical experience to the job. He was apart of the Air Defense Artillery, joint command and staff assignments, and test and evaluation.

Karbler is succeeding Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, who has been in command of the organization since January 2017. Dickinson will be taking on a new post as the first deputy commander for the newly activated U. S. Space Command. Karbler said this is the third time he has taken Dickinson's place.

Though this is Karbler's first time being assigned to Redstone Arsenal, he said he is no stranger to the base.

"A couple jobs ago I was the army testing evaluation commander for the Redstone test center, it was one of my supporting units, so I got down to Redstone quite a bit," said Karbler.

Karbler said as he adjusts to his new position one of his first goals is to get to know the Space and Missile Defense Command team and understand their roles.

"So really my goals are to get around to meet the command see the SMDC team, your global command, learn what everybody does, meet the soldiers and the civilians on the team, so then I can become a better commander," explained Karbler.

He also said he wants to become part of the Huntsville community. Karbler and his family have already been living in Huntsville for a couple months. He said he and his family have been welcomed with open arms by the Huntsville community.

"We have been here a couple months. My son is a high school senior at Huntsville High School,  go panthers!" he said.

Karbler's son was on this year's Huntsville High School cross country team. He is proud because they won the state championship.

The new commander said he believes modernization is an important part of his role in protecting the nation

Karbler said," Modernization falls right in line with readiness so as we advance programs, whether it's on the space side or the missile defense side, those have got to be in line so that the soldiers can use it again to contribute to our overall readiness."

He also feels he is prepared to take on this critical position.

"I think that the army has prepared me with the experiences of testing evaluation... I spent some time in the army G8 on the budget side and the programming side so all of those coming together gives me pretty good experience," he said. "I know we will have to address those strengths and then I know that we have to provide support to our warfighters so that our soldiers can shoot, move and communicate in a complex battlefield of today and tomorrow."

Another important part of his job will be addressing threats and making sure his team is ready for anything.

"Whether it's space, cyber or Hypersonics or even things like AI that are coming online. We have to make sure that all of those capabilities are integrated so that we best are able to address the threat," he said.

The general also said he has experience in testing that will be valuable because he understands the importance of testing and going through failures.

"Sometimes we fail at tests and that, you know when you fail a test,  the immediate reaction is 'oh they failed a test', but we learn so much when we're going through testing whether it's a failure or a success," said Karbler.

Another area of expertise for the general is cybersecurity.

"I will always have an eye out for how well we are doing in terms of testing against the different capabilities that are out there and the threats that are out there that include cyber threats," he said.

He said he is looking forward to his new position.

"It's really an honor to have the privilege to command the SMDC team and we're really excited at the opportunity to again be team Redstone as well as the Huntsville community," Karbler said.

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