Sullivan Advocates for Vital Missile Defense Funding in NDAA
“The threat is now on the doorstep of every American city”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) spoke on the Senate Floor today about the need to pass the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes an amendment he authored to bolster America’s homeland missile defense system in the wake of growing threats from North Korea. This amendment contains the majority of the senator’s Advancing America’s Missile Defense (AAMD) Act, which has been cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 27 senators.
“Over the past several years, the federal government has not taken homeland missile defense seriously enough. From 2006 to 2016, the Missile Defense Agency's budget has declined nearly 25 percent, and funding for homeland missile defense testing has declined by nearly 83 percent,” Senator Sullivan said. “Meanwhile over the course of just five years in North Korea, Kim Jong-un has conducted more missile tests and over twice as many nuclear tests as both his father and grandfather did in their sixty years in power. The threat of North Korea's nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile capability is now on the doorstep of every American city.
“We have the capability to defend against this threat through much more enhanced missile defense. This year's NDAA reverses the long-term trend of homeland missile defense neglect by growing the number of ground-based interceptors, modernizing the ‘kill vehicle’ and advancing space-based sensor technologies, dramatically increasing testing, and integrating existing missile defense systems. It’s time for Congress to step up and deliver greater security for the American homeland.”
Senator Sullivan’s missile defense amendment – like the AAMD Act – includes an increase of up to 28 ground-based interceptors (GBIs) – 14 of which would be slated for Fort Greely, Alaska. The amendment also includes language to help jump start silo construction at Fort Greely and calls for a report analyzing the potential for up to 100 GBIs distributed across the U.S. In addition, Senator Sullivan also worked to secure an additional $27.5 million to begin the development of new space-based missile defense sensor technologies.
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