Today is a great topic. We don’t talk too much about the air domain when we’ve been doing missile defense over the last 40 years. And it’s really a U.S. Air Force mission. And if you go back all the way until right after World War II when we got this new service called the Air Force, we created rules and responsibility for integrated air missile defense in 1948 at Key West. And at that historic meeting, they gave this new service called the United States Air Force the mission to do both air and air defense of the United States homeland as well as land-based to the United States homeland…So it’s core in the mission set that the U.S. Air Force has a very dominant and cultural part of this aspect of it. So today, we’re going to be very excited to bring the air to air component to this in both the sensing, the command and control, and the effectors. We want to understand it. So we want to get the best of the best, the war fighters that you have today…
Yesterday, in the shadow of the breaking news of China’s August hypersonic missile test, we held a Virtual Congressional Roundtable from our office in Alexandria, Virginia. The attendees were: RADM (Ret) Mark Montgomery, MDAA Board Member; Brig Gen Christopher “Moto” Niemi, director of strategic plans, programs, and requirements for Pacific Air Forces (PACAF); Col Jason Nalepa, Commander, 173rd Operations Group, Oregon Air National Guard; Col Kristopher “Torch” Struve, vice director of operations, NORAD; and Lt Gen (Ret) Jon “Ty” Thomas, former deputy commander, PACAF.
“And my point here is that we should as we’re having these discussions, that forward presence, the daily competition, which can lead to deterrence as Monty mentioned a couple times, is an absolutely critical part of it. And so I just wanted to finish with that to point out the importance of understanding ourselves, as well as the potential adversary. And making sure that our responses are tooled specifically for those. And sometimes it’s as simple as just covering certain parts, rather than trying to do everything.”- Lt Gen (Ret) Jon Thomas
“…we are attacking the roles and responsibilities integrated in our missile defense. And for the reasons that you heard today, we are pushing this forward to Congress, the Administration, our war fighters. It’s the right time to do this. We did this when the Air Force came in with a weapon that was called the German V-1, and a depressed economy afterwards. We’re in a similar situation. And our roles and responsibilities for us to compete and win have to be changed. And I think this is the right time to do it. And the conversation certainly helped to move this along. I appreciate your candor. I appreciate your service. Thank you for enlightening all of us on the depth and importance of our national security of our nation through what we talked about today.”
You can watch the full video and view the transcript here.