Hawaii 5-0

June 26, 2008

Dear Members and Friends, Aloha from Hawaii,

Yesterday, on a dark cloudy muggy late afternoon day, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense  (THAAD) system achieved the 29th overall successful ballistic missile intercept and the 5th intercept for the THAAD system since the United States Government made the decision to deploy missile defense in December of 2002.

At approximately 4:31p.m. HDT, on June 25th 2008, one THAAD single-stage solid fueled missile was fired from its eight missile canister mobile launcher based on the edge of the Pacific Ocean on the western shore of Kauai, Hawaii, streaking upward through the dark cloud layer. The THAAD X-band phase array radar unit placed nearby at the Pacific Range Missile Facility (PRMF) located, tracked and discriminated an incoming, separating short range ballistic missile sending this information to launcher and interceptor missile. The Kinetic intercept occurred a few minutes later using the missile’s infrared heat seeker in the upper atmosphere as the separating offensive warhead went through re-entry on its terminal phase of flight.  Differing from previous tests was that the target missile was dropped from a C-17 Air Force transporter before it ignited and traveled through space.

This test demonstrated THAAD’s capability to take out a two stage missile as its previous 4 tests demonstrated THAAD’s success with the single stage scud like missile.  This successful test follows the activation of the US Army’s Alpha Four Battalion for THAAD last month at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.

This 29th validation of Missile Defense and the 5th Demonstration of the Army’s THAAD program allows the United States to move from a rogue nation missile defense position to a regional strategic evolution for missile defense. The THAAD system offers mobility and much larger areas of protection than the current terminal deployed systems such as the PAC-3 and SM-2 that the United States has deployed today.  Combining the Army THAAD system with the PAC-3 systems and the Navy’s Aegis terminal and mid-course missile defense systems offers regional security for large areas of the world.

The United States Combat Commanders whose areas of responsibilities range from the Middle East (CENTCOM) to the Pacific (PACCOM) and Europe (EUCOM) have the fundamental missile defense systems to bring about regional security in their areas of command from ballistic missile threats. This infusion of proven layered mobile missile defense systems protects and dissuades those that threaten both the civilian populations and military forces in the respective regions.

The world needs non-escalatory and non-lethal missile defense systems  like what was demonstrated today to provide global counter-proliferation and protection from those with intentions to threaten or harm with ballistic missiles.

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