Over the HorizonMay 25, 2018
Dear Members and Friends,
Up where the snow and ice begins to melt and across the northern pole where international air, space and sea separate seven countries (U.S., Russia, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Greenland, and Norway) from each other. It is a fenceless border where no walls can be put up. Just the natural barriers of the arctic circle that have separated continents since the birth of continents. The air, the underwater and some tones of the year the frozen sea remains the shortest distance between the east and the west, between North America and Russia, Asia and Europe. As global warming opens sea lanes in the Arctic for longer period of times and the continued evolution of space and cyber circumventing any geographical distance in the Arctic to become an additional crossing options between the continents, all of these domains of thoroughfares need to be enabled to flow for prosperity and also need to be defended.
Over the top of the world comes the shortest air flights between continents as well as Ballistic Missile trajectories between continents. As such NORAD was formed (September 12, 1957) and the latter adaptation of NORTHCOM (October 1, 2002) were put in place to best defend North America from air and ballistic missile threats from the continents on the other side of the Arctic Circle. The terrestrial ballistic missile and air defense assets of sensors and interceptors commanded by NORAD and NORTHCOM were placed forward to defend the lower US Homeland in the state of Alaska and on its outer western Aleutian Island Chain at Shemya island that is 100mi from Russia.
On Shemya island is the Cobra Dane Radar, a sensor that can track and discriminate ballistic missiles, one of three absolutely critical persistent assets located in Alaska for the ballistic missile defense of North America. The Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) at Clear Air Base, Alaska is a tracking sensor and it will soon couple with and cue the Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) to be operational in 2020 for discrimination of the ballistic missile threat cloud. Both the Cobra Dane and Clear radars are connected to provide a cohesive seamless space picture of the ballistic missile threat cloud and track over the top of the world providing firing solutions data for the ground based interceptors. The third critical asset is the current 40 ground based interceptors operational deployed in silo fields at Fort Greely, Alaska that defend the United States from North Korean Nuclear ICBMs.
Blatantly missing from each of these critical assets to include the floating sea based x band Radar (SBX) in the middle of the pacific and the two strategic U.S. air bases in Alaska is an Integrated air defense against the over the horizon air and cruise missile threats that requires persistent overhead sensors and interceptors to defend these sites. Near peer demonstrations of launching standoff range cruise missiles from air and sea platforms 2,400 km to 5,500 km to avoid conventional air defenses limited by the curvature of the earth, disperse in overmatch numbers and fire from their defended territory (link). Proliferation of these standoff range weapons and platforms will add and be in high demand to the power projection of those countries seeking to challenge U.S. air superiority.
Before a ballistic missile would be fired at the United States either pre-emptily or as a reactive response to U.S. action, the first targets will always be the sensors of the ballistic missile defense system. The Missile Defense assets in Alaska must have a persistent integrated layered air defense to defend themselves against over the horizon air and missile threats to be an effective deterrent and enable the ballistic missile defense of the United States during a threat crisis.
With the impending North Korea crisis, no time is more important and more urgent than now to address this issue to provide a solution and deploy it operational forward.
Chairman and Founder
Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance