Dear Members and Friends,
In Norfolk, Virginia floats our nation’s most modern Ballistic Missile Defense ship, the USS Barry (DDG-52), manned by around 300 sailors. The ship has been upgraded with the new Baseline 9 capability that enables the Aegis BMD ship to single-handedly perform multiple missions simultaneously, protect the U.S. Aircraft Carriers from the most advanced cruise and ballistic missile threats as well as conduct air defense to allow freedom of operation in contested waters. Baseline 9 enhances discrimination, provides more battle space and more volume capacity to handle raids. This in turn provides more confidence and kill ability against advanced cruise missiles and incoming short to intermediate range ballistic missiles. This system is adapted to engage and launch its defensive missiles off of remote sensor information from other U.S. Aegis BMD ships, and eventually allied Aegis BMD equipped ships. This provides tremendous range, and a formidable interoperable defense with long-range advanced interceptor missiles such as the SM-6 and the upcoming SM-3 Block IIA. Having this dual long-range capability while able to perform other critical missions, the ship’s operating area or “tether” is now exponentially enlarged by having a Baseline 9 system installed.
USS Barry Commanding Officer CDR Partick Foster with MDAA Chairman Riki Ellison
USS Barry is one of three U.S. Aegis BMD ships currently operating newly installed Baseline 9 systems. The other two Baseline 9 BMD ships, the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) being used for testing and the USS Benfold (DDG-65), are currently home ported in Pearl Harbor and San Diego, respectively. The USS Barry is being prepped for deployment to the Asia-Pacific Region and had a successful air and missile defense intercept mission off the coast of Virginia earlier this year. As the USS Barry is working out its new baseline 9 system, it is setting the standards, policies and procedures for the other baseline ships in play today as well as future ones. The USS Barry will continue to train extensively out of Norfolk to work out the new system before it deploys in January 2016. With the most modern ballistic missile and air defense capability, the USS Barry will deploy with the U.S. 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan in January 2016 to defend Carrier Strike Group 5 with the USS George Washington (CVN-73) operating in the East China Sea as well as additional missions for ballistic missile defense in the region.
All 66 U.S. Navy Ships equipped with the Aegis Combat System should work towards having the foundation of Baseline 9 as their operating system. At minimum, the Aegis BMD Ships being deployed today with the 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf for defense against Iran, to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea for defense against Syria and long range protection for Israel as well as Europe, and to the 7th and 3rd Fleets defending against North Korea require Aegis BMD Baseline 9 ships and future upgrades to Baseline 9 for the remaining ships in the mission.
It was a honor to be with the Commander and the Crew of the USS Barry in Norfolk, Virginia. They, the 300 sailors and officers represent the strength and diversity of our nation projecting our strengths to enable peace in an uncertain world.
MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.
MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.