Yesterday, Robert Gates was sworn in as the new Secretary of Defense by the Vice President of the United States. As Mr. Gates begins his new position, which has a tremendous impact in the world we live in, we must pay due respect and gratitude to the gentleman he is replacing, Mr. Donald Rumsfeld.
On behalf of our nation, allies and armed forces deployed around the world, we pay tribute to Donald Rumsfeld for his instrumental role and leadership in providing missile defense for our public safety. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld brought Missile Defense from a research project into a deployed operational system of the Strategic Command of the United States Military within the Department of Defense. This Missile Defense system?? was in place and operational on July 4th, 2006 when a Long Range Ballistic Missile capable of striking the United States of America was launched from Musudan-ri Missile Test Facility, in North Korea.
Former Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld has given Missile Defense two founding platforms that will go down in history.
This independent report chaired by Mr. Rumsfeld highlighting the Ballistic Missile Threat to our nation was directly responsible for our Congress and President William Jefferson Clinton writing into law the Missile Defense Act of 1999. This legislation states that the country by law has to deploy Missile Defense as soon as it is technologically feasible.
2. From 2002 to 2007, sustained and level funding annually of around 2% of the Department of Defense Budget for the Deployment and Development of Missile Defense.
This funding has resulted in deployed and operational missile defense capability in sensors, command and control, interceptors and ongoing future development and deployment. As the former Secretary left office on Friday, there are 13 ground based interceptors deployed and operational in Alaska and California, as well as up to a dozen Standard Missile 3’s deployed and operational among 6 United States Aegis Destroyers and Cruisers.
Thank you, Mr Rumsfeld for your vision and determination which has given our nation an ability to defend itself against a known threat and that of threats in the future. The missile defense system that you brought to life is protecting, deterring and dissuading.