Dear Members and Friends,
This week it was announced that 100 U.S. Soldiers from the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina will man and operate two large aerostats based out of Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland that will for the first time give complete, persistent 360-degrees air coverage of any moving object heading towards the U.S. National Capital Region (NCR). These two “Good Year” type blimps, tethered 10,000 feet up have the most highly sophisticated radars in the world today. This capability includes the X-Band wavelength sensor to track and provide precise targeting information, no matter what size, speed or maneuverability of any moving object from UAVs, cruise missiles, aircraft to ballistic missiles that would threaten the NCR. The JLENS system in the NCR would provide an early warning and detection that provides exponentially more warning time, and can see multitudes of objects simultaneously and has no undetected areas that can be flown through by a threat. The JLENS looks out and down from above with no natural barriers restricting its vision whereas land base sensors have blind spots from natural and manmade barriers as well as the Earth’s curvatures preventing a complete 360 degree coverage.
The JLENS has been tested over the past few years in Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah and has successfully tracked multiple air-breathing objects, providing successful targeting of these objects to different launchers and interceptors from air, sea and land platforms that were each successful in their intercepts.
This critical and timely decision to actively test this new JLENS sensor system for three years in the NCR by NORTHCOM provides the fundamental first phase defensive structure to track, target and destroy evolutionary modern day air breathing threats that target major metropolitan centers and population centers. Proving this capability here in the Washington D.C. area would lead to confidence and assurance in having an effective system to protect our nation’s cities and people should a threat arise in the future.