Dear Members and Friends,
On behalf of our membership, MDAA was honored to have Lt. General “Trey�? Obering, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency, as the featured speaker at the “MDAA Lunch of Champions,�? held at the Union League Club in Chicago, Illinois. Lt. General Obering is mandated by the Congress and the President of the United States to provide ballistic missile defense for our troops (Force Protection) and the American Public/Territory (Homeland Security). To that extent, the Lt. General spoke on the current and future generations of missile defense funded by Congress, which enables him to fulfill his mandate and achieve a capable system to defend us all from a ballistic missile attack.
Prior to advocating in Chicago, MDAA paid tribute to the presidential libraries of two United States Presidents, President Kennedy and Ronald Reagan; they supported missile defense and left an indelible legacy in making the world and our country a safer place. We at MDAA honor and respect the greatness of these two Presidents and their efforts of making the world a safer place.Among his notable achievements, President John F. Kennedy managed to protect the United State from the brink of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The impact of that experience lead President Kennedy’s decision to develop the SPRINT/SPARTAN short-range interceptors and also update the then current ZEUS missile defense program to NIKE X, which consisted of 3,450 defensive missiles protecting large urban areas around the United States for a cost of 10 billion in today’s dollars.
In his own right of stellar achievements, President Ronald Reagan brought forward the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983, a year in which many of today’s missile defense systems began their research and development. SDI accounted for one of the key reasons that President Reagan was able to leverage for his most memorable legacies: breaking up the Soviet Union and tearing down the wall of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Both Presidents supported missile defense; they were both Democrat and Republican, great leaders of this nation, and they felt it was a core program for the defense of our country and the safety of our world. It is worthy to note that both administrations, one 25 years ago and the other 45 years ago, committed similar resources and priorities as exhibited today by our Congress and President.