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Admiral (ret) James "Sandy" Winnefeld (left) and Mike Griffin (right).

The former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former U.S. Northern Command Commander, Admiral (ret) James “Sandy” Winnefeld put forward his educated and experienced position on the ballistic missile defense of Hawaii. Admiral (ret) Winnefeld has the same position on Hawaii as we have been advocated for. Additionally, Michael Griffin, nominee to be the first ever Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, expressed strong support for airborne boost-phase missile defense and said such systems could be particularly useful against North Korea, the same position we have advocated for. Michael Griffin is a former NASA administrator and will be a great addition for Missile Defense. Below are some key quotes and statements by the gentlemen on ways to increase the missile defense of our nation.

“Now that we know what it feels like for Hawaii to be under ballistic missile attack, perhaps it’s a good time to ask how well the island is actually defended from such an attack.

It’s a simple question with a complex answer that has to do with our ability to detect, track and engage a missile headed on the more southerly track to Hawaii than one launched from North Korea towards the continental United States. Suffice it to say that both places would be better defended were interceptors based in the island chain.” – Admiral (ret) Winnefeld

“The Navy’s SM-3-IB missile—carried aboard certain ships and installed in silos in Europe to defend against potential future Iranian threats—spans the capability between regional and intercontinental threats. The U.S. is also working closely with Japan to develop the advanced SM-3-IIA. This weapon has performed well in testing to date, and planned testing against an ICBM threat should be accelerated.” – Admiral (ret) Winnefeld

To enhance the defense of Hawaii, it is only necessary to move a radar back to PMRF and load the launchers with SM-3 interceptors. This would take weeks, not years, and would cost very little. And as the North Korean threat increases, as it will, it will be a simple matter to upgrade this site with already-planned improvements to the TPY-2 radar and by installing the new SM-3-IIA missile.

This concept would protect Hawaii at least as well as, if not better than, today’s plan to fire multiple GBIs at a North Korean missile headed in that direction. Moreover, because a GBI costs roughly 10 times more than an SM-3-IB, Hawaii could be protected at far lower cost than the current plan, leaving our GBIs to defend Alaska and the continental U.S.” – Admiral (ret) Winnefeld

“Using this solution, even if only temporarily, is a real win-win. Doing so will quickly grant the nation’s 50th state the same level of protection extended to the other states. Such a move will cost significantly less than a new radar.” – Admiral (ret) Winnefeld

Click here to read Admiral (ret) Winnefeld’s full article.

Click here to read an article from when I briefed two committees in Hawaii’s State Legislature on North Korea’s posture and U.S. missile defense.

Speaking on airborne boost-phase missile defense “It was feasible many years ago to do it. What we have lacked in the missile defense arena until recently was the will, not the technology, not the means,” – Griffin

“Congress is leading the department, ahead of the department on this. And if confirmed you will not be ahead of me in your advocacy for this capability. I strongly support such [technology].” – Griffin

Speaking on directed energy weapons and laser technology, it has been ““given that less priority, by far, than I think it deserves.” – Griffin

Click here to watch the full nomination hearing.

“No citizens of the United States, whether they live in Hawaii or anywhere else, should ever have to live through another 38 minutes of fear. Bureaucratic and political obstacles should not stand in the way of defending our nation against a nuclear threat from North Korea.” – Admiral (ret) Winnefeld

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MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.

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