Dear Members and Friends,
Over the past ten years on Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships, the United States Navy has perfected short- and medium-range missile defense by detecting, tracking, and destroying ballistic missiles threatening its defended area. Aegis Ashore takes the Navy’s exact capability on sea and brings its successes to land. The first home and test site of Aegis Ashore is the 51 year-old Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Hawaii, which is where the dedication took place. Per President Obama’s directives, Aegis Ashore sites in Romania in 2015 and Poland in 2018 will follow the testing and successes of the Hawaii Aegis Ashore testing platform to protect Southern and Northern Europe, respectively. This new capability in Hawaii has the inherent ability to be deployed, if ever needed, to defend and protect the entire Hawaiian Island chain and its people.
U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, a United States Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, presided over this historic event in his home state. The Senator stated clearly that this is a defensive mechanism-not an offensive one-to defend our democracy, our people, and our nation. Senator Inouye, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, further stated that we are doing everything possible to make this a success as the value is in its power to deter those that seek harm against the United States and its allies.
Rear Admiral Dixon Smith, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, concluded the dedication by saying that Aegis Ashore extends deterrence, increases international cooperation, and provides global peace.
The dedication provided the respect, depth, vision, and support of this invaluable asset and franchise for Hawaii and will add another layer to our nation’s robust missile defense system to create a safer world.