The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the government agency that investigates, audits and evaluates programs for the United States Congress. Its mission is to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities, provide accountability and help improve the performance of the federal government for the American people. The GAO has recently released its report on missile defense for the past fiscal year.
The above clip is from the successful THAAD missile defense system intercept test conduct at the Pacific Missile Range Facility located in Hawaii. This was the 7th successful test of the THAAD interceptor and the final one before it goes to the Army review board for certification.
June 1st, 2010, in Barking Sands, Kauai, Senator Daniel Inouye, Commanding Officer, Pacific Missile Range Facility Captain Aaron Cudnohufsky, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Rear Admiral Dixon Smith and Chariman and Founder, MDAA Riki Ellison opened the Kauai Eternal Veterans Memorial and Missile Defense Viewing Site.
Riki Ellison, Founder and Chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), has commented on the current status of the SM3- system and states that the system is fully capable. Ellison is one of the top foremost lay experts in the field of missile defense in the world. His comments include the following:
“The SM-3 Block 1A is certified by the Department of Defense to engage short-range missiles of the SCUD A & B, the No-Dong type missile and their separating targets (warheads); absent the presence of countermeasures. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a press release from the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. It highlights the gap in protection from the Iranian missile threat in 2015.
Riki Ellison, Founder and Chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org has made some comments on the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing held on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The purpose of the hearing was to receive testimony on ballistic missile defense policies and programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2011. Ellison is one of the foremost lay experts in the field of missile defense. Ellison’s comments include the following statements:
Dear Members and Friends,
At an appropriate setting, the Ronald Reagan Conference Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C., our nation’s most prominent leaders in the field of missile defense from the government, military and defense industry came together with non-government personnel including engineers, civilians, politicians, appointees and our armed forces for three days this week.
Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn addressed the conference at its opening by endorsing strong bipartisan support on missile defense and increasing the missile defense budget from last year by 700 million to 9.9 billion for 2011. Further, Mr. Lynn announced the growing quantitative and qualitative ballistic missile threat and reinforced the six policies put forward by the President on missile defense.
Read the rest of this entry »
Dear Members and Friends,
Over the past few days, MDAA has been in Fort Greely, Alaska touring the three Ground Based Midcourse Interceptor Fields and visiting the U.S. Army Soldiers stationed here, including the 49th Battalion, 100th Missile Defense Brigade. Today the Pacific Combat Commander Admiral Bob Willard is visiting Fort Greely; Fort Greely falls under the Admiral’s Pacific Command. Fort Greely is unique in that it falls under several US Combat Commanders control; U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) headed by Gen. Gene Renuart, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) headed by Gen. Kevin P. Chilton and Adjutant General for Alaska Gen. Tomas H Katkus.
Missile Field One and Missile Field Three, located in the center of Alaska, are currently populated with Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) which are the only defense against long-range ballistic missile threats, particularly from North Korea, for the United States homeland. Ground-Based Interceptor missiles are, and will always remain, the last line of defense for the American Public; hopefully they will never be used. These mid-course / mid-space interceptors can engage the extremely high speeds of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). This capability means they remain a critical part of a robust multi-layered defensive system and currently provide the last land-based layer of defense for the United States homeland. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that homeland defense is the first priority of our nation’s missile defense systems in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, released February 1st.
Dear Members and Friends,
Late last night, the Airborne Laser (ABL), now called the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB), a Boeing-747 modified to carry a chemical based megawatt laser weapon system, successfully intercepted and destroyed two short-range ballistic missiles, one liquid fueled Scud like missile and one solid fueled U.S. target, off the Ventura coast of California at Point Mugu Air Station, the first one at 11:44PM EST, and the second an hour later. The ABL used speed of light lasers with multiple beams to target, track, intercept and destroy the ballistic missiles within seconds during the boost phase of the ballistic missiles’ flights.
These intercepts by a laser on an air based platform are a historic technical and engineering revolution. It is a technological game changer that gives the United States a real proven capability that is air mobile, can target, track and intercept multiple targets in seconds, cost efficient and reusable. There are no other proven systems in the world today or in the foreseable future that can shoot down boosting ballistic missiles. The United States leads the world on this game-changing technology
President Obama’s New Missile Defense Plan Does Not Address U.S. Homeland Population Protection
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Riki Ellison, Chairman and President of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) www.missiledefenseadvocacyalliance.org has developed a White Paper that analyzes the recent missile defense decision by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The White Paper states that the protection of our homeland population is a risk we are facing with the new missile defense plan. Ellison has shared the White Paper with members of Congress, and it is detailed below:
On September 17, 2009, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unveiled a shift in missile defense policy abandoning the “Third Site” in Europe, outlining a “new missile defense architecture” for the protection of Europe primarily focusing on the development, evolution and deployment of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), which will be both sea- and land-based. These will protect our forward deployed troops, friends and allies in Europe from the Iranian short- and medium-range ballistic missile threat. The “new missile defense architecture” does not address or replace the protection from Iranian long-range ballistic missiles that the “Third Site” in Europe would have provided.
- This “new missile defense architecture” is a step forward and will better protect our forward deployed troops, friends and allies. It is a positive move towards a future global missile defense system that is adaptable, integrated, interoperable and will offer cost-sharing opportunities with our allies.
- The “new missile defense architecture” does not address or replace the protection of the U.S. Homeland from Iranian long-range ballistic missiles that the “Third Site” in Europe addressed until 2020 with a nonexistent, untested and unproven version of the SM-3.
- The “Third site” in Europe was positioned for long-range ballistic protection for the U.S. Homeland and two early warning missile defense radars in Thule, Greenland and Fylingdales, England as the current and future deployed Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) in Alaska and California are dependent on these two fixed radars sites to protect the U.S. Homeland from long-range missiles from Iran.
- Due to the geographic distances from Alaska to the Southeastern and Eastern regions of the U.S. Homeland, a long-range ballistic missile attack from Iran would not yield the same protection and multiple-shot doctrine (Look-Shoot-Look) as the rest of the country now has with the current missile defense system, thus increasing the risk of success and lowering the confidence of the systems capability to defend the Eastern and Southeastern regions of our country.
- The proliferation of short- and medium-range missiles from Iran is the main driver for this “new missile defense architecture.” The placement of short- and medium-range Iranian missiles on sea-based platforms against the U.S. Homeland needs to be equally addressed as Iran has demonstrated this capability.
- Iran’s successful launch of the Safir space launch vehicle that placed a satellite in orbit on February 2, 2009 and the Iranian 1,200 mile solid fueled two stage missile launched on May 20, 2009 coupled with their continued proliferation of short- and medium-range ballistic missile tests demonstrates their technical proficiency in developing an ICBM. It is of note that the former U.S.S.R. took six months from its first successful satellite launch in 1958 to develop an ICBM that could reach the U.S. Homeland.
- As of yet, there has not been a credible solution or realistic alternative offered by the President or the Department of Defense to replace the protection of the U.S. Homeland and the radars in Greenland and England that the sites in Poland and the Czech Republic would have done, nor has there been a “hedge” solution introduced against sea-based short- and medium-range missiles threats against the U.S. Homeland in the announced “new missile defense architecture.”
The White House announced that it is reshaping American missile defense policy with a stronger emphasis toward the short- and medium-range missile threat from Iran. This change entails abandoning plans to build ten Ground-Based Interceptors in Poland and a long-range radar system in the Czech Republic. Instead, President Obama proposed implementing a multi-phased plan to create a “new missile defense architecture.” The first phase consists of deploying SM-3 Block 1A missiles, launched from Aegis ships, to Europe while pursing options for land-based deployment of the same system, “Aegis Ashore.” Under the final phase of the plan, the White House anticipates the deployment of SM-3 Block 2B to Europe by 2020 to have the capability to intercept long-range ballistic missiles — eleven years from now.
The previous plan to build GBIs in Europe aimed to protect our European allies, our troops deployed, and most importantly, our homeland. Because SM-3s are designed to intercept short- and medium-range missiles, the change from GBIs to SM-3s will provide insufficient coverage against long-range ballistic missile threats for our country and the two fixed radars in Greenland and England for the next eleven years. The new proposal covers the second and third priorities of our missile defense doctrine as outlined by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Cartwright, protecting our allies and our troops, but it does not fulfill the first and most important priority, outlined in the plan for missile defense: “the defense of our homeland.”
Under the plan, the SM-3 Block 2B missiles, the plan’s solution to long-range missile threats, are not slated to deploy until 2020 if the technology is proven. Eleven years without missile protection for the East Coast is too long to put “at risk” the American public. While MDAA supports the President’s vision for a “new missile defense architecture,” we must call attention to the inadequate protection that the East Coast and Southeast will receive under this plan and the lack of a missile defense “hedge” for sea-based short- and medium-range missile threats to our Homeland. The United States invested tens of billions of dollars over the last seven years to produce defense against long-range, medium-range and short-range missile threats. From this labor and the tens of billions of tax dollars spent, the U.S. has created a technically capable and deployed answer to ballistic missile threats, but still needs a policy solution from the Obama administration to provide equal protection for the U.S. Homeland.
Riki Ellison is available for on-the-record interviews about our nation’s missile defense program. Call 602 885-1955 to arrange.