On November 27, the true Champion of putting forth the Aegis Weapon system from inception 37 years ago to today, where over 73 Aegis Ships which include Destroyers and Cruisers are at sea, Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, U.S. Navy (Retired) was given one of the Navys most prestigious honors by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael G. Mullen. The upcoming Aegis Destroyer DDG 108 is now called the USS Wayne E. Meyer and will be christened August 23, 2008. This bestowed honor was coupled with the 100th delivery of the Aegis Weapon system by Lockheed Martin to the Navy at Moorestown, New Jersey.
The Aegis Weapon System is the world’s premiere naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. The system integrates the SPY-1 radar that can track and disseminate ballistic missiles and warheads, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System that can launch defense missiles from the standard missile family designed to destroy ballistic missiles threats and is also integrated with command and control systems.
Currently, the United States has planned to deploy 18 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Ships by 2009, of which 16 of them will be with the Pacific Fleet and 2 of them with the Atlantic Fleet. Currently, three cruisers and three destroyers have both the engagement and long range surveillance and tracking capabilities. Ten other destroyers have the long range surveillance and tracking capability. Several of the ships are in the Sea of Japan with the ability to defend Japan, South Korea and U.S. troops stationed there from the threat of North Korean Missiles. Some of them were deployed during and since the crisis of Kim Jong-ils testing of his missiles and nuclear weapon.
It is of merit that MDAA is strongly advocating for an additional 10 more Aegis ships for a total of 28 in the immediate future so that our country, the Middle East and Europe will have protection similar to that of the Pacific Rim countries.
Amongst the tribute in Moorestown, were five international countries that are fielding the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Weapons System aboard their ships: Australia, Japan, Norway, Peoples Republic of Korea and Spain. The presentation to Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer included remarks by Rear Admiral Michael Frick, Rear Admiral Alan Hicks, Rear Admiral Charles Hamilton, II, Honorable Delores Etter, Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Honorable Jim Saxton, US House Representatives.
Millions and millions of people that the Aegis system is defending today are forever indebted and grateful to Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer and so must our generation and our grandchildren offer great appreciation.
“Aegis is the heart of our surface fleet, globally deployed to defend our freedom against enemies that know no borders in a war we must win and a war we will win”
~Admiral Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, 11/27/06 Moorestown, New Jersey
On behalf of our membership, we marvel and give great thanks to the will and the integrity of Wayne Meyer to bring forward this remarkable Aegis weapon system that insures our public safety and makes our world a safer place.