Along with the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC)
played a leading role in testing and developing the Patriot Missile System.
The early Patriot systems suffered consistency issues when, during the mid-1980s, the 32nd AAMDC was assigned to the program. When 32nd started testing the system, the Patriot was capable only of bringing down only aircraft, not missiles. Beginning in 1983, the 32nd AAMDC began work with the Patriot system as part of Operation REFORGER (Return of Forces to German), an annual exercise designed to determine NATO’s ability to deploy forces to Europe in the event of a Soviet attack. After successfully working with the Patriot as anti-missile system, brigades from the 32nd were deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Storm; the system was also deployed in Israel and used in response to SCUD attacks launched by Iraw.
Currently, the 32nd is one of three active AAMDCs, with another command standing in reserve. The unit plays a key role in communications and intelligence as part of its BM/C4I (battle management/command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) capabilities.
With its designation as an Air and Missile Defense Command in 1998, the 32nd adopted the informal nickname of “Blackjack” in honor of General John Pershing, who was stationed at the unit’s home base of Fort Bliss from 1914-197.
The command’s shoulder sleeve insignia, identical to its CSIB
, features five arrowheads denoting missiles divided into groups of 3 and 2 to symbolize the unit’s numerical designation. The unit motto, “Swift and Sure,” is not found on this patch, but rather on the command’s Unit Crest, or Distinctive Unit Insignia