The 49th State of America, Alaska, on top of the World is the vanguard for our nation against all threats coming over the top of the world into the lower 49 states. This American vanguard has stood guard from its outposts in the outer Aleutian Islands and its interior of critical Air Force and Army bases from the threats posed to the United States of World War II, the Cold War and of today. Alaska is geographically positioned to provide an umbrella of multiple layered cross domain capability in air dominance, submarine dominance, in space situational awareness, in Combat Brigade Team mobilization and in ballistic missile defense dominance for the defense of the United States against all threats coming over the top of the world to threaten the United States. Alaska is a geographic strategic masterpiece.
North Korea’s current and developing nuclear ballistic missile threats to the United States are negated and defeated by the strategic assets deployed in Alaska. There is a limited amount of those strategic Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) of which 40 of them have been promised to be deployed and operational at Fort Greely by the end of this year. These 40 GBIs assisted by forward-based sensors outside of Alaska and two major sensors – inside of Alaska in Shemya on the outer edge of the Aleutians and at Clear Air Station in front of the Alaskan Range have – to defend all 50 states, not only from North Korea, but from developing threats, notably Iran, that would launch missiles with trajectories near or over the top of the globe. Alaska’s ballistic missile defense capability has extremely high reliability and confidence to defeat the current North Korean tested liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, and the not very accurate Musudan and Taepodong-2, both of which can strike the most outer parts of the United States today.
The emerging North Korean threat was highlighted by Pyongyang’s successful test of the Polaris-2 submarine ballistic missile air launched from a mobile platform on Feb 12, 2017 (link to video of the North Korean missile test), which demonstrated significant next generation capability of North Korea’s solid-fueled mobile ballistic missile capabilities. The emerging threat of North Korea’s long-range missile arsenal to strike the United States is being developed in the KN-08 mobile intercontinental ballistic missile first paraded in 2012, and the more compact KN-14 ICBM, first paraded in 2015. Both ICBMs were on display during a North Korean military parade in April 2017 (link to article discussing missiles displayed during North Korean parade). Alaska and its ballistic missile defense capability and capacity must be ahead of the North Korean threat to defeat and negate this emerging threat with extremely high reliability and confidence.
On Saturday evening, May 6th in Anchorage, Alaska, the Senator of Alaska, Dan Sullivan and the Chief of the National Guard, and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joesph Lengyel, honored and recognized their best Airmen and Soldiers on this vital national security mission in Alaska of the ballistic missile defense for the nation.
Senator Dan Sullivan in his remarks of praise and appreciation to the excellence of leadership of these unheralded war fighters of this mission in Alaska, put forward the reality of the threat and the best way forward for Congress in addressing this threat enabling more capability and capacity for these leaders to further enable the success of this vital mission.
As a leader in the U.S. Senate on missile defense, next week, Senator Dan Sullivan will be introducing a bi-partisan bill to the United States Senate with a strong leadership effort on his part to make it part of the National Defense Authorization Act for this year. This forthcoming bill is going to focus on dramatically increasing our missile defense capability and capacity to stay ahead of the North Korean threat. In summary from his remarks, the bill will address and look to include the following:
- A goal for development and deployment of Space Based Sensors for persistent and discrimination constellation coverage that would enhance reliability of intercept
- Speeding up the technical development of the advanced interceptor technologies of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle and the Multi Object Kill Vehicle that be more reliable, more efficient and would eventually replace all of the current Kill Vehicles on the GBIs today
- Requiring the Missile Defense Agency to perform at the minimum an annual intercept test with the GMD (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) system and increasing overall testing for the system
- Advancing our Allies and their partnerships in resourcing and in deployment of missile defense systems
- Support of how best enhance the ballistic missile defense of Hawaii
Senator Sullivan’s bill comes forward and out front of the Secretary of Defense’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review report that is still being formulated and scheduled to be finalized at the end of the year that has been directed by Secretary James Mattis this past Friday to be overseen by the yet to be confirmed Deputy Secretary of Defense (link to official announcement from the Department of Defense made on May 5, 2017) and receive recommendations from a yet to be appointed Deputy Secretary of Policy for the Department of Defense.
Once a Niner, always a Niner.