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(Front, left to right) Chauncey McIntosh, Vice President and General Manager Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors, Mr. Riki Ellison, MDAA Chairman and Founder, and CAPT Sid Hodgson, Commanding Officer, AEGIS Technical Representative with the 2024 New Jersey Champions, April 30th, 2024.

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance hosted the eighth annual New Jersey Reception of Champions in Camden, New Jersey on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

“The mission for integrated air and missile defense is extreme. Your work has caught the attention of the most SENIOR officials in the Defense Department. And I assure you, I’ll be bragging about all your achievements to all. The last eight months have proven extreme for the criticality of our mission. Enemies really do intend to harm us, our partners and allies, and our way of life. I’m confident that Admiral Meyer, the father of Aegis, and Admiral Altwegg, executive director of MDA, are both smiling from their heavenly perch on how far we have come with our build a little, test a little, learn a lot paradigm. I’m also sure that the pace of learning is accelerating in a manner that may even inspire Admiral Meyer to ponder the imponderables again. 

We are proud collaborators of our combat systems engineering agent, Lockheed Martin. And I offer my congratulations to all the champions in the room today. You inspire us all to rise up and deliver. We are deeply grateful for the partnership with Aegis TECHREP. You’re on the frontlines of critical developments, and the champions we celebrate today make clear our destiny is certain. We are so fortunate to have these professionals in our midst. We grow more capable on their watch. And of course, our beloved sailors in the trenches in Aegis ashore, Romania and Poland, we are weeks away from visiting you with SecDef to celebrate your dedication to the phase adaptive approached mission. The citizens of Europe join us in our profound gratitude for your service. Champions one and all.  

I assure you we are at General Quarters. And truthfully, this is where I will end my deepest expression of permanent and sustained gratitude. We are General Quarters, and millions of lives of the beneficiaries of the defense you all help imagine and deliver. You are the asymmetric threat that will keep us safe, deter our foes. And if not deterred, enable us to crush their objectives and systems engineering with unprecedented teamwork. I expect to see all of you on the journey, and we have just begun. A final quote from the “Father of Aegis”, Admiral Wayne Meyer. “We ain’t done yet.” God bless and Godspeed, Pablo. Mr. Mann and all of us are proud to recognize three outstanding Aegis Ashore sailors, I think two are with us today.” 

  • Mr. Paul Mann, MDA Program Executive, Sea-based Weapon Systems & Program Director, Aegis BMD, New Jersey Reception of Champions, April 30th, 2024 

“It is a team game. And so, yeah, we defeated all that. And you saw the hype, you saw the press, and it was focused mostly on air-to-air and Patriot, but you guys knocked it out. First combat use, SM-3 Block IB, you knocked it out. Again, I feel for you, you don’t get the credit for missile defense as the guys on the land do. But you are the lead, you have been the lead since 1970. Since Admiral Wayne Meyer right here. Test a little, gain a little. Nobody does it better in getting missile defense capability out of MDA or into the service than that combination between MDA and Navy and our ability to get it with iterations to do it quick. You are the go-to model. You lead it. And you’ve led it because you’ve kept your eye on the number one threat.

You’ve kept your eye on China back in the 70s, on Russia. And you’ve created a platform where you can defend it all the way down below water, on the water surface, air, space, everything that we’re trying to do. So damn good that we got you on land in Poland and Romania. You are the lead for our nation. You are the lead for missile defense. Just understand that we have dysfunctionality on getting missile defense capability into the warfighter hands. I’ve been with them. They are frustrated with our ability to get capability in their hands, because the threat is $25,000 Shahed class three drones that are being made all over the place. And they’re oversaturated. It doesn’t matter, they’re going to oversaturate. So we have to do this cheaper than them. We have to reverse the way we do things. We have to use our cheap weapons out in front, not our exquisite weapons out front, and then scale back to that.” 

“We are world champions. And to win world championships you have to be invincible. And I can share some experiences on the Super Bowls, where before the game, in the locker room, and before the first contact, the game’s already won. That’s the trust of resiliency your team goes through against all conditions, weather, bad calls, failures, losses. It bonds your team. Failure bonds your team if you have great leadership. And you need to fail fast, and you create an invincibility within your teammates because you accomplish and win through at all. Not to pick on the Philadelphia Eagles, but I will pick on the Dallas Cowboys. Because the game, or the war or the game against China, is energy momentum. They play a game called Go. Their philosophy is to defeat you before you fight.  

That’s what I’m talking about is invincibility. That’s the truth of the term. And just like the Dallas Cowboys this year, on offense, at the end of the game, they took a knee. They had enough. We’ve got to make China take a knee and not want to fight with us. And these technologies, which they are counting on because they’re smart, we were capability based acquisition, they saw what we didn’t do. And what we didn’t do was cruise missiles, drones, hypersonics. It’s your job to make them take a knee on that. And that’s how you’re going to keep world order on that. And we are just honored to be around you, because you’re world champions. And world champions associate with world champions to win. We’re going to win.” 

  • Mr. Riki Ellison, MDAA Chairman and Founder, New Jersey Reception of Champions, April 30th, 2024 

Click here for more information on the 2024 New Jersey Reception of Champions Event, including awardees and speakers 

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.