Dear Members and Friends,
Yesterday, MDAA hosted and set a precedent in its platform on educational advocacy for missile defense to the American public through their representation in Congress. We attained a unique format of recently retired U.S. missile defense war fighters from the three services involved with missile defense.
MDAA's format covered the full spectrum of missile defense through our four speakers' presentations and roundtable of questions and discussion. We chose to present missile defense from an operational perspective. The discussion began with a regional and U.S. homeland BMD force provider perspective. We then moved on to the Joint Staff and strategic planning of missile defense with one of the three architects of the Obama Administration's 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review that now serves as the nation's policy on Missile Defense, as well as the U.S. Navy's perspective on the operational use of Aegis BMD. We then went to the operational command of missile defense in the EUCOM Combative Commander's Area of Responsibility including NATO, battle management, communications and command. This led into the final presentation on missile defense from a tactical perspective from CENTCOM which informed on the Gulf Cooperation Council partnerships, THAAD, Patriot and C-RAM.
MDAA's distinguished panel of speakers were:
LTG, U.S. Army (Retired)
Former Commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Command. Also served as Commander of US Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command - Integrated Missile Defense.
RADM, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Former Director of the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Previously Commander of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Deputy Commander for Combat Systems Engineering, Naval Sea Systems Command
MajGen, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Former Third Air Force/Seventeenth Expeditionary Air Force Command and Formerly Vice Director of the Joint Staff
COL, U.S. Army (Retired)
Former Commander of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. Previously Chief of Staff of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command; Commander of the 2nd BN, 1st ADA (PATRIOT), 35th ADA Brigade and Personnel Proponent Officer, Office of the Chief of Air Defense Artillery
The key points coming from the discussion were:
1.There is not enough resources to meet the requirements for both regional and homeland defense. Force providers must make difficult trade offs between capability, capacity, testing, and strain on missile defense personnel from extended deployments.
2. GBI must return to an annual testing cadence.
3. A third missile defense site would add much needed time and battle space to counter eastward ballistic missile threats, however, in a constrained budget environment, increased testing and reliability of the Ground Based Midcourse Defense must take precedent.
4. The purpose of regional missile defense is to blunt effects of an initial ballistic missile attack, and allows time for offensive forces remove the threat.
5. The key strength of Aegis sea-based missile defenses is the ability to unilaterally locate and relocate missile defense assets to regions as needed.
6. With current numbers, BMD ships cannot be everywhere we need them all the time. Crews cannot be deployed indefinitely, and cruise times to reach destinations can be long and expensive. The U.S. needs to convert as many ships as possible to be BMD capable, to ensure the fleet is capable of undertaking multi-mission operations across the globe.
7. Advances in integrated BMD command and control systems will allow for more efficient deployments of Patriot missile systems throughout the world.
8. Working with partners for increased capacity and burden sharing is vital, as it is fiscally impossible for the United States to do everything on its own. However, burden sharing should be done in a way that ensures hardware compatibility between the United States and partner countries.
9. Deployments of U.S. missile defense assets to partner countries often results in those countries acquiring BMD capabilities of their own. The United Arab Emirates' acquisition of Patriot and Thaad systems is a key example of this trend.
10. Advances in boost-phase missile defense technologies such the Airborne Laser is limited by both physics, and the ability for missile defense systems to get close enough to missile launches to destroy them without being destroyed themselves by enemy defenses. Another key challenge for boost-phase BMD is getting defense assets to the launch area in time, as engagement times during boost-phase is short.