Under the Northern Lights

Reception of Champions, Anchorage, Alaska

Monday, August 28, 2006

The State of Alaska with its three hundred and sixty-degree view from the top of the world is our nations vanguard of protection and defense. Whether it is air travel or space travel, the shortest way to reach the United States is over the Northern most state of the United States. Since the advent of military aircraft in World War I, our military have recognized the strategic value and have deployed military bases in Alaska that have served to defend the skies in protecting our homeland. Today the military bases in Alaska headed by Lt Gen Douglas M. Fraser are fully integrated into our Northern Command defending our country.

As technology has evolved, geography remains constant. Alaska provides strategic protection against sophisticated air and space threats that can pose the quickest strike capability to our nation. This important fact was brought to national and world attention as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spent time at some of the key military bases in Alaska this past weekend. The Secretary further spent time with his Russian counterpart Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov in an outward celebration of the Lend Lease deal where the United States supplied Russia with aircraft in World War II prior to the United States involvement. During their time together in Fairbanks there was no doubt that Alaskas strategic position and defensive elements came into discussion. The Russians want more transparency? in Missile Defense, and Secretary Rumsfeld is committed to the deployment and continued evolution of Missile Defense motivated by the proliferation of missile technology by North Korea who will sell to anybody.

It is within these Northern Lights that MDAA had the honor to thank the State of Alaska and the senior Senator of Alaska, the honorable Ted Stevens for their value and commitment to the defense of our nation. Senator Stevens vision and leadership during the past 37 years in the US Senate to champion missile defense, to deploy those systems in the most advantageous and strategic location and to drive political will to have an operational system in place within four years after our Congress and President made the decision is commendable and remarkable.

Today, Alaska has within its territory four major missile defense systems that are operational:

  • The Ground Based Interceptors in Fort Greely Alaska
  • The Cobra Dane Radar in Shemya, Alaska
  • The Space Launch Facility in Kodiak Island, Alaska
  • The Port for the Sea Based X band radar in Adek, Alaska

The MDAA Reception of Champions in Anchorage, Alaska for the State of Alaska and the Senate Pro Tempore had the great honor and respect of the following attendees:

Former Governor, Walter J. Hickel Former Governor, Bill Sheffield Former Governor Terry Knowles

Lt. General Douglas Fraser (Speaker), Commander of Alaskan Command Lt. General Henry “Trey” Obering (Speaker), Director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Lt. General Larry Dodgen, Commander, U.S. Army Space and Missile Command Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon

Major General Craig E. Campbell, Adjutant General, Alaska National Guard Major General Charles H. Jacoby, Commander US Army Alaska Brig. General Tom Katkus, Assistant Adjutant General for Space and Missile Defense Stan Borucki, Honorary Consul, Consulate of the Republic of Poland Yoshio Uchiyama, Consul, Head of Office, Consular Office of Japan Mark Hamilton, (Speaker), President, University of Alaska System.

MDAA presented an art piece and plaque of Alaska “In recognition of Senator Ted Stevens’ contributions to missile defense of the United States. Presented on behalf of a grateful nation” to Senator Stevens. Remarks were made by the Lt. General Fraser, Lt. General Obering, and Mark Hamilton, President of the University of Alaska.

On behalf of our Members and the American Public, thank you Senator Stevens and the State of Alaska for keeping our country safe.

How true today are the words spoken by General Billy Mitchell in the early part of this century when he said, “Who Ever Controls Alaska Controls the World.”

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