The 31st State

July 05, 2005

Dear Members and Friends,

One out of every eight American residents lives in California, which has the largest economy of any state in the union and ranks 7th in the world.

Recently, MDAA had the opportunity to meet with the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and visited the deployed missile defense sites at Vandenberg Air Force Base, approximately 60 miles north of Santa Barbara. Currently, Vandenberg Air Force Base is the home of two deployed ground-based interceptors in silos defending the United States and the state of California from a ballistic missile attack. In addition to the missile sites, two adjacent silos in Vandenberg will be used for the testing and deployment to further refine the robustness of the system.

The state of California is inextricably linked to missile defense for numerous reasons.

Real Capability: Having a deployed missile defense site capable of defending the entire country from a ballistic missile attack.

Real Threat: In range of a North Korean missile attack, as well as a 1,100 mile coastline vulnerable to sea-based ballistic missile launches.

Real Target: The largest economy in the United States and two of the top ten most populous cities in the United States.

Real Jobs: Over 30,000 California jobs; 15,000 direct jobs and an additional 15,000 indirect jobs from missile defense.

Real High-Tech: The Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, Ground-Based Missile Defense System, and Space Tracking and Surveillance System are some of the current missile defense technologies being developed in California.

Real History: Former Governor of California and President of the United States Ronald Reagan created the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983.

Real Opposition: Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, Representative Pelosi, Representative Sanchez, Representative Tauscher.

California is at the cutting edge of high-end technology and missile defense. We at MDAA welcome the challenges of advocacy within California on missile defense.

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