“This test again demonstrates our continuous commitment to ensure our homeland is defended against attackers, adversaries or aggressors,” Rep. Turner said. “The 2-Stage GBI is an important hedge to defend the homeland in case the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) threat from Iran or North Korea materializes before the Administration’s Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe is fully operational.”
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 20th, 2010, Lt. General Patrick O’Reilly, Director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, testified that the June test would verify any differences between the two-stage and three-stage interceptor currently fielded in Alaska and California, “and at that point, [the 2-stage GBI] will be a very mature missile.”
During the mark up of the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Rep. Turner offered an amendment that would have reinforced the critical hedge providing increased protection for the U.S. against a North Korean or Iranian missile threat. The amendment ensured continued development and testing of the 2-Stage GBI in the event technical challenges or schedule delays postpone the availability of the standard missile-3 block IIA interceptor, or an ICBM threat materializes prior to availability. In addition, the amendment would preserve the Missile Field-1 (MF-1) in Fort Greely Alaska, scheduled to be decommissioned in 2012. Turner’s amendment was defeated along party lines.