CNO: Divest Aegis Ashore Sites to Ground Forces

January 12, 2021



The chief of naval operations has proposed the U.S. Navy divest its Aegis Ashore ballistic-missile defense (BMD) sites to another service, in order to focus on its core missions.

In the Jan. 11 release of the Navigation Plan for the service, CNO Adm. Michael Gilday wrote of the need to divest capabilities to afford more lethality and sharpen focus.

“To remain ahead of our competitors, we will divest ourselves of legacy capabilities that no longer bring sufficient lethality to the fight,” Gilday wrote in the document. “This includes divestment of experimental Littoral Combat Ship hulls, legacy Cruisers, and older Dock Landing Ships. It also includes divesting non-core Navy missions like Aegis Ashore. Transferring shore-based ballistic missile defense sites to ground forces enables Sailors to focus on their core missions at sea, and frees up resources to increase our lethality.”

Gilday also spoke of the need of the Navy to divest the Aegis Ashore sites, during his Jan. 11 address to the Surface Navy Association convention webinar, without adding more detail.

The Navy has built and operates two Aegis Ashore sites in Europe, one in Romania and the other in Poland. The sites include an Aegis Combat System and missile launchers that can fire Standard SM-3 missiles. The two sites, part of the European Defense Initiative to shield Europe from missile threats from such countries as Iran, are augmented by BMD patrols in the Mediterranean Sea by Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile ships based in Rota, Spain…


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