Midcourse Defense Test Bed at Eareckson Air Station, Alaska|
16 February 2002
by Bruce Gagnon
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDS MARCH 4, 2002
Against the threat of ballistic missiles and Weapons of Mass Destruction, President Bush has listed, as one of his priorities, the development of missile defense to provide U.S. and other allies a shield. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is responsible for developing and testing the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
One of the elements of BMDS under development is the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), formerly known as the National Missile Defense System (NMDS). GMD is designed to intercept long-ranged ballistic missiles during the midcourse (upper atmosphere) segment of their flight.
Interceptors have been successfully tested; however, following reviews directed by President Bush, MDA is focusing on providing more realistic testing. MDA proposes to construct facilities in Alaska to support the independent part of the Test Bed that will validate the GMD operational concept, under realistic conditions.
MDA is currently completing its analysis of this proposal, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Another proposed independent part of the Test Bed includes facilities and operations required to expand intercept flight tests.
This application covers the Eareckson Air Station portion of the first of these
independent Test Bed projects. Proposed Test Bed activities at Eareckson Air
Station on Shemya Island include upgrading an existing radar and installation of
Ground-Based Battle Management Command, Control, and Communication (GBMC3)
systems with In-Flight Interceptor Communication System Data Terminals (IDTs)
and communcation network equipment. Related proposed construction
activities include alterations to existing support facilities and funding for
upgrades to the existing Air Force electrical Power generation plant and a fuel
oil storage tank. This project will allow MDA to test the communication
links and to better develop procedures for constructing potential future GMD
components under Alaska conditions.
You may send comments prior to the expiration date to: Gilbert.L.Phillips@poa02.usace.army.mil
(NOT firstname.lastname@example.org as originally notified - one way to discourage public comment is to give a bad address to those wishing to comment and that is what the Pentagon did)
For more information contact: Mr. Ellis Gilliland at (256) 313-9609.