Dear Members and Friends,
It is with great respect to the Department of Defense and to the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, that their decision to only field half of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) silos in Missile Field 2 at Fort Greely, Alaska, has been reversed, as the Department of Defense will now fully construct, complete and field all of the 14 silos in Missile Field 2. This decision by the Secretary of Defense is sound and cost-effective for the U.S. tax payers and its a forward risk reduction position for our nation and our public for their security against threats of long-range ballistic missiles. The United States can now have the capability and capacity to deploy 44 Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) in 44 silos. This is a significant decision that will allow our nation to have a ‘hedge’ and lower the risk to our national security if in the future Iran, North Korea or other rogue nation states choose to threaten the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
With this decision, the current long-range ballistic missile defense for all of our nation, including Hawaii and Alaska, will have (20) silos in Missile Field 3, (14) Silos in Missile Field 2, (6) Silos in Missile Field 1 in Fort Greely, Alaska and (4) silos in Vandenberg AFB, California for a total of (44) Silos. However, the 6 silos in Missile Field 1 in Fort Greely are still scheduled to be ‘moth balled’ once missile field 2 is constructed and in full operation.
The Administration is standing firm on deploying 30 GBI’s for our nation’s protection but clearly has the opportunity to increase those numbers up to 44 if the threat becomes more apparent. A decision is still being decided by the Department of Defense whether or not to field all of the silos in missile field 2 in Fort Greely, Alaska with Ground-Based Interceptors. We encourage and support a decision to fully deploy the 14 missiles in missile field 2, as deploying the GBIs in the newest silos would lower cost, reduce risk and hold higher confidence for those that command and man the missile defense system.
We applaud and appreciate the rational thinking done by the President, the Department of Defense, the National Security Council and the current Administration to complete missile field 2 in Fort Greely. We also extend our gratitude to the support given by the leadership from Democratic Senator Mark Begich of Alaska and his colleagues for bringing the decision on Missile Field 2 for reconsideration to the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. Click here to view Senator Begich’s Press Release
MDAA has been at the forefront of this issue and had the honor and privilege of visiting Fort Greely, Alaska this past September to view the missile fields.
This significant and definitive decision by the Secretary of Defense and the President to reassess the current world and future threats to our national security and homeland is a leap forward from what it was earlier for the protection of the American public from long-range missiles.