372 Years

December 11, 2008

Dear Members and Friends,

Earlier this month the 100th Missile Defense Brigade made up of Army National Guard units from the State of California, the State of Colorado and the State of Alaska successfully operated and engaged our Nation’s missile defense systems from their respective states to defend and protect our nation. It is an impressive and responsible mission for these young men and women of the guard who carry the means, the training and the knowledge to implement this complex system.  There are 5 console positions that control the national missile defense system that are manned 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Fort Greely, Alaska by the 100th Missile Defense Brigade as well as one console position in Vandenberg, California. The 100th Missile Defense Brigade which all these soldiers from three different states  report to is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is responsible for overall staffing and the force protection of the Ground Based Interceptors located at Fort Greely, Alaska. The 100th Missile Defense Brigade will most likely have these same roles for manning the upcoming interceptor site in Slupsk, Poland.

The funding provided for the Army National Guard soldiers to support this mission of defending the United States homeland falls uniquely under the individual states as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8. Funding for the Army National Guard soldiers that are manning our nation’s missile defense is provided not by the Department of Defense or the U.S. Federal Government but by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the State of California, Governor Sarah Palin and the State of Alaska and Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and the State of Colorado.

These National Guard soldiers of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade successfully implemented our nation’s current missile defense system which integrated the discrimination and tracking information of three deployed operational sensor radars (AN/TPY-2 radar in Alaska, Beale Air force Base in California, and the Sea-Based X-band radar in the Pacific Ocean) and launched the ground based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base which intercepted a long range target missile flown high in space at 12:31pm on December 5th, 2008. This realistic operational test with the use of the current deployed radars and interceptors was able to represent an exact timeline, the closing velocities and the correct angle of interception from a ballistic missile fired from North Korea to the Northwest Region of the United States. The radar information collection, processing and decision making time for the soldiers manning the system was realistic of defending the United States homeland  from a ballistic missile attack from North Korea. The soldiers in Fort Greely, Alaska served as the primary unit that implemented the system, in previous tests the unit at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs assumed that role.

The missile defense deployed assets involved and deployed in this test from the Beale Air Force radar to the two ballistic missile defense capable Aegis ships were manned by the  Airman and Sailors of the United States Air Force and  the United States Navy. The AN/TPY- 2 radar was controlled by the U.S. Army Soldiers of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command in Hawaii.

On behalf of our membership we are honored and grateful for the service of our nation’s military and the National Guard in protecting the homeland of the United States as they have done so for the past 372 years.

The Army’s National Guard predates our nation’s standing military by almost 150 years. It is of note that America’s first permanent militia regiments were organized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 and today in 2008 they are in the State of California, the State of Alaska and the State of Colorado protecting our nation.
Coming in 2009, MDAA will be highlighting a soldier serving in the 100th Missile Defense Brigade as well as other airmen, sailors and soldiers of our armed forces serving in deployed missile defense assets throughout the world. This insight into the lives of the soldiers protecting our nation will be featured on our website.

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