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Public Statements

Sessions-Led Bipartisan Effort Bolsters Homeland Defense

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services committee, commented on a proposal from the Administration to fund the development of fourteen Ground Based Mid-Course Interceptors to improve our nation's defense:

"I am pleased to hear the Secretary of Defense report that the Pentagon is taking North Korea's bellicose and self-destructive threats seriously. These threats are not new and have been on a very predictable trajectory for several years. The Obama Administration erroneously reduced our homeland missile defense capability after taking office in 2009. They reduced the number of Ground Based Mid-Course Interceptors from 44 to 30. Senator Begich (D-AK) and I introduced an amendment to the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act that would do exactly what the current Administration is correctly proposing to do now.

The Modernization and Sustainment of a National Missile Defense System Amendment, that Senator Begich and I introduced in June of 2009, directed the Department of Defense to field an additional 14 ground-based interceptors at Ft. Greely, Alaska. This Amendment requires two intercept tests per year, develops and funds a robust sustainment plan, maintains a viable and cost-effective interceptor production line, and directs modernization and enhancement of the homeland missile defense system. Unfortunately, we were not successful in getting the amendment adopted in the 2010 NDAA when the cost to complete the last 14 silos, and field a total of 44 interceptors, was $160 million. I can tell you the price to complete this work now will be more than it would have been had the action been taken sooner.

I am pleased that the Administration is now moving forward in protecting our nation from a missile attack. I also am very proud of the Missile Defense Agency, and its industry partners, located in and around Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama for stepping up to protect the United States from a ballistic missile attack."


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