Breaking News – The Culprit

May 25, 2007

Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It is of great disappointment and frustration that todays scheduled ground-based interceptor test did not take place as the incoming target missile failed after launch this morning. At 7:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, a three stage ballistic target missile was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, heading several thousand miles south towards a 50km by 50km target zone or defended area that the ground-based interceptor was defending. A few minutes after the target missile launch, an anomaly between the first and second stages was identified causing the target missile not to gain the altitude and the range to get within 1,000kms of the target zone and defended area. Because the involved ground-based missile defense system that was to be tested today could not and did not recognize a ballistic missile threat to the defended area, the system did not engage. This system includes the ground-based interceptor in Vandenberg, sensors/radars most notably the Beale radar in California and the battle management command and control in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The ground-based long-range missile defense system could not prove its capability today as it is reliant on a real ballistic missile threat to its defended area. This capability needs to be continued to be proven as the redundancy and realistic operational tests gives confidence to our public, our government, our allies and our enemies in missile defense. It is very frustrating that it will take an additional few months, or more, to allocate and put another target missile back into Kodiak Island to test our ground-based long-range ballistic missile system. We would strongly urge and support those responsible for the target ballistic missiles to fix the anomaly and address the aging ballistic target missile fleets, so that they become more reliant as they are critical in proving our technology and capability advancements in missile defense.

We must continue to develop, test and deploy missile defense.

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