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U.S. Ground-Based Interceptor launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California during the May 30, 2017 successful ICBM intercept test.

Dear members and friends,

 

The Los Angeles Times continues to be relentless in manipulating the truth and leverage uninformed analysis on our nation’s missile defense capability to defend itself from North Korea’s current and near term Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capabilities. This recent, article by the Los Angeles Times (Link) marks the fifth in a consistent repetitive series over the past two years that have been proven misrepresentative, misconceived and misinformed.

 

April 5, 2015

“True Lies”

https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/alert/3456/

LA Times Articles

http://graphics.latimes.com/missile-defense/

http://graphics.latimes.com/missile-defense-congress/

 

September 24, 2015

“Catching Arrows”

https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/alert/catching-arrows/

LA Times Article

http://graphics.latimes.com/missile-defense-jlens/

 

July 6, 2016

“Veering Off”

https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/alert/veering-off/

LA Times Article

http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-missile-defense/

 

February 26, 2017

“Not Afraid to Fail”

https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/alert/not-afraid-to-fail/

LA Times Article

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-missile-defense-flaw-20170226-story.html

 

In response to the recent L.A. Times “Was That Shootdown of a Mock Enemy Warhead in May ‘Realistic’?

The single overall basis for the confidence in our nation’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to defend from North Korea ICBMs is the operational, realistically proven capability of the current GMD system that is deployed and operational – which successfully intercepted an ICBM under realistic conditions on May 30th (Link) with a capability that is deployed and operational today defending the United States of America. The validity of the realistic operational GMD capability proven on May 30th and confidence in the overall GMD system comes from the only one that is responsible for this decision, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) in the Department of Defense. The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation testifies and reports to Congress every year on all testing to include GMD. The DOT&E is the independent expert that Congress and the Department of Defense recognize to validate operational testing. Today this position is held by David Duma and he released a memo inside of the Department of Defense following the May 30th GMD test on June 6th to put forward his confidence in the operational realism of the GMD system test and confidence in it to defeat the current and near-term North Korea ICBM threat to the United States of America. Parts of Duma’s memo have been reported by CNN and the L.A. Times (CNN Link; L.A. Times Link), who have deliberately chosen not to put forward the entire memo and its full intent, extent and confidence by Duma to the Department of Defense and to Congress on the current GMD system to defeat the current and near term North Korean ICBM capability to strike the United States. The L.A. Times disregarded the intent of the Memo by Duma by citing previous annual reports by DOT&E before the May 30th test and bringing in unqualified and uninformed sources that have no relevance, no clearance and no access to the DOT&E classified evaluation of the May 30th test. Further the L.A. Times have regularly used a former DOT&E official, Dr. Philip Coyle – who last served nearly two decades ago, with 2001 his last year – to critique and criticize the GMD system for their own agenda and manipulation, and now choose to downplay and make irrelevant the statement of confidence of the GMD system by the current DOT&E official David Duma, who is the only one in the world put in the position and qualified to make that assessment.

The L.A. Times and their investigative reporting, that clearly does not have the expertise or classified access into the Department of Defense DOT&E, is simply baffling and swinging in the air in both assumption and misinformation to its readers – inferring that they are the experts, not DOT&E, to quantify and validate an operational and realistic testing capability for our nation’s capability to defend the American  population from North Korea.

“However, the carefully scripted test posed much less of a challenge for U.S.  missile defenses than would an actual attack, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found. As a result, the successful intercept provides little if any confidence that the troubled Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, would be able to thwart a sneak attack by North Korea, according to missile defense experts familiar with the details of the test.”  L.A. Times, July 7, 2017.

The reality is this test is as close as we can ever get from duplicating current and near term ICBM threat, and the United States cannot and never will be able to launch an ICBM target missile from North Korea to the United States. The United States has to simulate as close as possible a realistic scenario using their current deployed missile defense capabilities, while not taking them off their mission with their current geographical limited test facilities and ranges against a ICBM test target from these locations. This is most optimal for realism out of Ronald Reagan Testing Range in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific which is also used annually for carefully scripted operationally realistic testing of U.S. ICBMs instead of having them land in Russia or China. By leveraging an additional testing TPY-2 forward based radar in the Wake Islands, at a U.S. testing facility, and moving the Sea Based X-Band Radar (SBX), while adjusting the operational capability of its mission, provides the most realistic scenario duplicating the current U.S. forward based TPY-2 radars in Japan in conjunction with the SBX for the missile defense of Hawaii, Alaska and the United States Homeland while using the actual operational Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) and its active site in California as well as the operational firing crews, is the most optimal realistic operational test and validation of the system against North Korea. Further the United States would never just fire one GBI at a North Korean ICBM, but several to get the highest confidence of probability of kill (POK) of which a salvo of GBIs will be tested in these similar conditions in the next year. Of note, the L.A. Times using testing records of the past have no significant bearing on current confidence of the GMD as the system holistically continues to evolve for more reliability and confidence after each and every test. The L.A. Times should take notice of North Korea, a third world country and its third world economy in its dismal ballistic missile testing records and their astounding success of proving out remarkable proliferating ballistic missile capabilities.

The United States has resound confidence in the GMD system against the current North Korean ICBM capability, that the GBIs are effective with forward based radar and midcourse discrimination and cueing. Even without the SBX in the right position, the GBIs have reliability with their inherent capability cued by AN/TPY-2 forward based radars in Japan. However having a persistent Medium Range Discriminating Radar (MRDR) permanently placed and deployed in Hawaii, force multiplies the reliability of the GBIs against evolving complex and multiple ICBMs and relieves sensor assets like the SBX that may not be in the right position at the right time for midcourse discrimination for the defense of Hawaii and the U.S. Homeland. MRDR will supplement the defense of the United States with the upcoming Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) in Alaska and will further enhance the missile defense of Alaska and U.S. Homeland in enabling better positioning of the SBX or for its use in testing which it was designed to do. The MRDR and the LRDR will be able to increase POK, reduce the current GBI shot doctrine and to handle the most sophisticated and complex ICBM threat capability to the United States that North Korean has yet to develop, test and prove.

The truth is the truth and in this age of disinformation, the United States has invested, tested and proven successfully to have a defensive capability to thwart and defeat North Korea’s ICBM capability to strike the United States and its entire population today. DOT&E is the truth that our Department of Defense, our Combat Commanders, our President and our Congress rely on, not the L.A. Times.

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