Dear Members and Friends,
In the protection of Hawaii and the United States mainland, the Sea-Based X-Band radar (SBX) has been deployed from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii into the Pacific Ocean. The SBX is the world’s most capable X-Band Radar that is able to track 10s of thousands of small objects in space while following a ballistic missile in its moving cloud of debris to exactly pinpoint the re-entry vehicle or warhead of a ballistic missile amongst the countermeasures and decoys.
Simplistically put, the SBX, off the cost of California, could track the seam stich on a rotating baseball, pitched at Yankee Stadium, in New York, that is traveling 15,000 mph per hour and give you the exact spot and place to swing the bat and make contact with the ball, at the plate, before the ball’s arrival for a home run every time that you went to bat no matter what speed or type of pitch is thrown. It is an incredible capability that can exponentially increase the reliability of our 30 ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California that are protecting Hawaii and the United States homeland from a North Korean long range ballistic missile.
The SBX has been deployed out to the Pacific Ocean during previous North Korean ballistic missile tests and was the critical sensor in the 2008 successful intercept of a falling toxic satellite by a Ballistic Missile Defense Aegis ship, the USS Lake Erie (CG-70), and SM3-Block IA interceptor. A decision was made by our government and the previous Missile Defense Agency Director to put the SBX in partial mothball status at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as it was previously planned to be in permanent placement at Adak, Alaska on the Aleutian Islands in order to provide increased capability for the protection of the United States homeland close a polar orbit flight that would be required to reach the United States mainland from North Korea. The SBX costs around 70 million dollars a year to operate and maintain and is an asset of the United States Navy but managed and crewed by the Missile Defense Agency.
It is of great appreciation and acknowledgement that we give to the Department of Defense, the Pacific Combatant Commander, and the Missile Defense Agency as they move forward with the deployment of the SBX in protection of our nation and its people from North Korea.
In addition to the SBX being deployed yesterday, the United States 7th Fleet, out of Yokosuka, Japan, which has five Aegis BMD ships attached to its overall fleet, has moved the USS John S. McCain Aegis BMD Destroyer out to sea for added protection against North Korea. The destroyer will provide both sensing and tracking data of incoming ballistic missiles as well as having the capability on board to intercept short and medium-range ballistic missiles from North Korea. The United States five Aegis BMD ships which includes the most modern BMD ship in the Navy, the USS Shiloh, a cruiser, join four Japanese Aegis BMD Kongo Class ships and three South Korea KDX ships in the ballistic missile defense of this region.
It is a true honor to have visited and recognized the men and women of the USS John S. McCain, the USS Fitzgerald, the USS Curtis Wilbur and its crew in Yokosuka, as well as the USS Shiloh at sea in the East China Sea this past year deployed in the waters protecting our allies, our troops, and the United States of America. MDAA was also honored to be on the SBX as it finished its construction in Brownsville, Texas and again a few times with its crew in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
For, in the end, it is the men and women of our joint missile defense force that make these great engineering capabilities and platforms perform the work to preserve peace and protect our lives. They indeed are the unheralded ones that represent the tip of the spear for the entire missile defense community and our nation protecting all of us and our allies in these critical times of uncertainty against a nuclear country and the leader of North Korea