VANDENBERG AFB, Calif., Sept 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, President of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), http://www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, was at Vandenberg AFB to view the ground-based interceptor launch from the Ronald Reagan Missile Defense site on Vandenberg AFB, CA and got to witness the successful intercept by one of our nation's ground-based interceptor missile (GBI) deployed there against a threat-representative long range target missile launched from Kodiak, Alaska. Ellison's overall appraisal of the test was characterized as "an overwhelming success with the 7th intercept of this system gives our nation and our public great confidence that our military has the capability to protect our population, territory and homeland from long range missiles."
Ellison said "The remarkable technical feat demonstrated today for the 7th time clearly gives our country security and reassurance that the current 23 Ground Based Interceptors deployed in California and Alaska can and will protect our public from long-range ballistic missiles.
"This missile intercept success is a validation of the decision to fund, develop and deploy missile defense by this Administration and Congress for the right reasons at the right time. The visual statement made by our military of a routine and redundant test, comes at no better time than this week as the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his commitment and determination known to the United Nations on attaining strategic nuclear power. This demonstration of our missile defense system displayed to the international community that it is a deterrent and a motivator for disinvestment of those that continue or desire to proliferate."
Ellison was at the Ronald Reagan Memorial Missile Defense viewing area in Vandenberg AFB and witnessed the rocket launch of the ground-based interceptor out of Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Site to observe and hear the sequencing of the test. "The ground-based interceptor (GBI) was launched at 1:16 pm PDT from the Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Site at Vandenberg AFB, California. The interceptors propelled with an explosive glow of deep orange and white clouds of steam from its exhaust and moved slowly against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean soaring into space as the ground trembled with a deep rolling resonance. The sound from the missile was oddly delayed as the interceptor accelerated beyond ear sight past the speed of sound as the visual view of a neat white vapor trail disappeared into the cloudy sky never letting the sound catch it."
"The intercept was made 5 minutes later at 1:21 pm PDT , 120 kilometers in space with speeds in excess of 12,000 mph. The long-range target missile had been launched at 1:00 pm PDT a few thousand miles away from Kodiak, Alaska with speeds in excess of 10,000 mph when it was hit and destroyed by the interceptor."
Ellison closed his remarks by congratulating all of those in military uniforms and the civilians that have tenaciously worked on this ground-base system since President Bush made the decision to deploy it in 2002.
Riki Ellison is available for on-the-record interviews. His cell is 571 213-3328. Nathan Singletary at 703 299-0061 is available to help with interviews. Or you may call Mike Terrill at 602 885-1955 to assist with an interview.
SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance