You Made the Nation Safer

November 24, 2008

Dear Members and Friends,

The Vice Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, General James E. Cartwright acknowledged Lt. General Trey Obering for his leadership of MDA over the past 4 years as General Cartwright awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal during his retirement ceremony on Friday, November 21. General Cartwright stated in his remarks that Lt. General Obering gave credibility to missile defense, from a vision 25 years ago to a real and credible system for the 21st century. This credibility has been shown here to our leadership, to our allies and most importantly to those that would threaten the United States of America and its national security interests with ballistic missiles. Without this credibility we would be faced with offensive retaliation as our only option and without credibility, strategy planning or any military weapons system will not work.

Since 2004, when Lt. General Trey Obering took over as Director of the Missile Defense Agency, the United States of America has fielded a fully operational missile defense system that protects our nation and our armed forces from limited ballistic missile threats. Lt. General Obering during his 4 year tenure as Director of MDA demonstrated and validated over 100 missile tests that included 17 missile defense intercepts from all of the three currently deployed and activated missile defense systems. Those systems being; the Ground Based Interceptors, the Aegis Sea Based Systems and the THAAD land based regional defense system. In 2006, the United States did not have any operational missile defense systems fielded to protect the United States of America. Today, the United States has the following missile defense systems deployed and fully operational protecting our nation, our people and our troops:

–          25 Ground Based Long Range Interceptors
–          18 U.S. Destroyers and Cruiser
–          33 Sea Based Standard Missile-3 Interceptors
–          32 Sea Based Standard Missile-2 Interceptors
–          Command & Control and Battle Management
–          Shemya, Beale and Flyingdales Radars
–          2 Forward Based X-Band Radars
–          1 Sea Based X-Band Radar
Lt. General Obering’s most notable feat of credibility for missile defense was to take one of the newly tested missile defense systems and apply it to a real time national security  threat of a toxic satellite falling out of control towards Earth. This shoot down of the satellite occurred in February of this year by a  SM-3 missile from a U.S. Aegis ship which hit within centimeters of the aim point destroying the toxic fuel tank and obliterating the satellite in space, thus validating and demonstrating  the credibility of the missile defense systems being developed, tested and deployed.

In the last four years missile defense has grown exponentially from just a few countries to over 20 countries that participate and partner with the United States on missile defense. The evolution of global missile defense has begun. Most prominent of this growth under Lt. Gen Trey Obering  has been the deployment of missile defense systems in England, Japan, Israel and the two major agreements with the Czech Republic and Poland to host future missile defense systems.

These achievements by the leadership of Lt. General Trey Obering and the thousands of people of the Missile Defense Agency that worked under his leadership and the over 55,000 people from  37 states that  actively supported these systems over the past four years deserve to all be thanked, recognized and greatly appreciated for their outstanding work. Each and every one of you has made our Nation safer than it was four years ago.

On behalf of our membership around the world, the American Public and the future generations of Americans, thank you Lt. General Trey Obering for your 35 years of service to this country and your truly outstanding contributions to missile defense. You have made our Nation Safer.

Resource Library


Curtis Stiles - Chief of Staff