“Build It and They Will Not Come”

February 04, 2011

Dear Members and Friends,

Near the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain, in front of a packed house at the United States Air Force Academy Falcon Club, MDAA spoke to members of the Colorado Springs community about recognizing the critical role of missile defense in our nation’s security and the need for increased support for missile defense in the face of growing ballistic missile threats. MDAA preceded remarks by Colonel Greg Bowen (100th MD Brigade Commander) and Congressman Doug Lamborn (R, CO-5) at the event. The 100th Missile Defense Brigade was also recognized for their unheralded operation of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, America’s national missile defense. The following are MDAA’s remarks at this event:

Welcome everyone to the recognition of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade and an education of our national missile defense system that is head quartered here in Colorado Springs. We are truly honored to have your representative Congressman Doug Lamborn who is a true champion and national leader of Missile Defense with us today.

I want to extend our thanks to NDIA, both the Mile High and Rocky Mountain Chapters for supporting this event with me. Also to Colonel Robinson of the 10th Air Wing Base to allow us host the event here at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Riki Ellison; I am the Founder and Chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance whose mission and purpose is the development, deployment and evolution of Missile Defense, making our nation and world safer. I began my passion for Missile Defense while in College at USC where I had my first briefing from Dr. Edward Teller and a call for action from President Reagan’s 1983 SDI speech that propelled me into Missile Defense long before I was involved with 10 years of kinetic intercepts in the National Football League winning 3 Super Bowl Championships. In the off seasons I worked on the   ERIS which came shortly after the Homing Overlay Experiment. After 9/11 in 2002, the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty and moved forward with developing and deploying a missile Defense system to protect our nation.  MDAA was founded at that moment. We are now over a 12,000 membership in 42 states.

Today in the backdrop of  one of the biggest military industry complexes of our nation, Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD, NORTHCOM, Space Command all driven and derived from the need to  warn and track nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles attacking our homeland.

Today the community of Colorado Springs is well aware, well informed and our natural advocates for these three core competencies that continue to be dominant and are located here in your community – Space Command, NORAD, and Northern Command.

Today we are here not for them but for the core competency that has grown from them, the evolution of the past sixty years of the mission that created the military complex of Colorado Springs. That is the real deployed capability to protect and defend the United States Homeland from ballistic missiles carrying nuclear weapons.

Missile Defense.

It is unknown virtually in this community; it is lost in priority amongst the legendary pillars in this community. It is missing understood and we are here today to shed the light and open the gates of information on this critical, growing national asset for the future of our nation.

All and all, missile defense is close to a $10 billion a year industry that has the full backing of our President and our Congress; Democrat and Republican.

It is not going anywhere but growing at a steady pace of close to 1.7 percent of our Defense Budget.

It is no longer a science project, the technology is not questioned.

We now will have a ratified New START treaty that incorporates arms control of reduction of nuclear missiles with the deployment of missile defense that can shoot nuclear missiles down. Something unheard of, especially here where Mutual Assured Destruction was birthed and sustained.

Missile Defense is here to stay; it is a growth market, here and internationally.

Missile Defense is a bedrock industry providing thousands of jobs in this community today and its potential to do more is only limited by the competitiveness, the will and the hunger of this community towards missile defense.

Colorado Springs houses, the headquarters, the operational command and control of the GMD, the main testing and simulation of that system and others within the missile defense architecture as well as the Colorado National Guard that man the GMD system. In addition missile defense is in the U.S. Space Command with its operations of the DSPs, the new Siberus GEO.

Further the movement of STSS program office from the Los Angeles Air Force Base to Colorado Springs that will evolve into the PTSS a constellation of birth to death tracking and discrimination satellites for missile defense. Also Housed in the Peterson Air Force Base manned by the US Army Space Brigade under SMDC is the command and deployment of the JTAGs to ensure our combat commanders have first detection of ballistic missiles fired in their area of responsibility.

Colorado Springs is the integration hub of this complex command and control that coordinates sensor information from all over the world and in space into the fire control loop for this critical mission of missile Defense. Finally Admiral James A. Winnefeld the Commander of NORTHCOM at Peterson Air Force Base is who the GMD system and the 100 missile defense brigade are commanded by.

The growing continual threat from Proliferating countries in the world today and tomorrow that use ballistic missiles as a poor man’s air force to project force, power and threats to achieve self political and security aims is clearly apparent to our homeland, our Armed Forces and our Allies. This coupled with protection of our forward operating bases to prevent and deter access denial from ballistic missiles to ensure and allow freedom of trade and assurance to our allies in the form of extended deterrence that allows them to remain non-nuclear is the fundamental block of our national security, global superiority and a safer world.

I encourage each of you and all of you to support and compete in this industry and mission. The most powerful technology and tool in America is its people. As Americans we know and exceed at competing, it is inherent in our culture as we gather to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. We want the best, we respect the best, we admire the best and we gain from by being the best.

Come join us be an extension of this team and community in Missile Defense to be the best for our nation, for our troops overseas and for our allies.

As the say in the field of dreams.

“Build it and they will not come”

Thank you

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