Congressman Mike Turner and 15 other House Armed Services Committee members wrote to Congressman Bill Young, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, to urge him to include funding in the FY2014 Defense Appropriations Mark for the East Coast missile defense site. The lawmakers requested that funding be at least $250.0 million for expenses related to site design, missile complex development and installation of hardware and software, and GBI procurement for the site. These funds are based on budget recommendations from the Missile Defense Agency’s presentation of March 5, 2012. The lawmakers vowed to take similar action in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.
“Specifically, in light of the recent cancellation of the SM-3 Block IIB program, it is incumbent upon the Congress, in the absence of aggressive action by the President, to deploy an East Coast site to defend the United States from the rising threat of ballistic missile development from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” wrote the HASC lawmakers.
In 2007-2008, the then-Commander of NORTHCOM conducted a study of options to further strengthen the missile defense posture of the United States. As NORTHCOM’s 2007-2008 “GBI study” concluded, an East Coast Site will have a clear and specific benefit to the defense of the United States, in particular, the Eastern-third of the United States not now protected with shoot-look-shoot capability from the extant sites in Alaska and California.
“The missile defense of the United States must be made one of our highest national defense priorities. We urge you to take the necessary steps to modernize the United States’ missile defense system and make it capable of defending against future missile and nuclear threats,” added the lawmakers.
NOTE: A copy of the letter sent to Chairman Young a can be found here.