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A C-RAM defense system is test fired on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on January 13, 2018. (Photo: U.S. Air Force by Staff Sergeant Sean Martin)

The United States is moving forward to best secure its military forces in operating bases around the world from the threats that are delivered through the air above and around these bases. The multitude and variety of threats delivered through the air range from massive and complex to small and simple and proliferation of these systems has accelerated as use throughout the world is highlighted in the Middle East today. It is far cheaper and of magnitudes more cost efficient to develop, produce, deploy and fight with offensive systems than to produce and deploy defensive systems to negate these offensive systems today.

These cost curve air threats are put in five categories –

Group 1 – Micro/Mini UAS
Group 2 – Small Tactical
Group 3 – Tactical
Group 4 – Persistent
Group 5 – Penetrating

Each of the United States four military services have each developed, tested, produced, and deployed their own specific systems that use kinetic, non-kinetic, and electromagnetic methods to defeat these common sets of threats through the air to include sensors, interceptors/effectors and command & control.

Last week the United States announced a new Joint Flag position given to the Army to oversee the doctrine, the development, the testing, the training, and the equipping for Group 1-3 air threats for all of the military services and their existing weapon systems  that are being used today and future weapon systems. The Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ellen Lord, along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, made the decision to create a new joint command that would be more cost efficient, more speed to get to the warfighters and technically more efficient to man and operate these systems protecting U.S. bases around the world. Major General Sean Gainey, the Deputy Director for Force Protection and Director for Joint Requirements Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense, has been placed in command of this new position. A pathfinder for what is to come for Group 4-5 in the near future, a cross service, cross domain Center of Excellence and school house to train, equip, operate, and provide doctrine to best fight with these existing and new systems coming forward of which directed energy and electromagnetic weapon systems show great promise of cost efficiency and effectiveness to inverse the current cost-curve of expensive defensive effectors to the cheaper offensive effectors.

There is inefficiency of cost and effectiveness today by the Navy, the Army, the Air Force, the Marines and soon to be the Space Force of all having primary separate weapon systems to integrate, early warn, track, and intercept with separate command and control systems. With an extremely high demand of having complete layered missile defense systems that encompass group 1-5 in United States operating military bases around the world, the United States has to move fast toward a united command for group 4 and group 5 as they are doing today for groups 1-3.

No more urgent for this need is U.S. military personnel stationed in Iraq, as was reported this week that the Department of Defense will ‘likely’ send Patriot missile defense batteries, from a very limited supply, to Iraq to provide defense against Iranian missiles for U.S. military personnel deployed in the country.

Mission Statement

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.