Missile Defense Will Have Long Presence In Alaska

Missile defense will have a long presence in Alaska. That was the message of Missile Defense Agency Director, Lieutenant General Pat O’Reilly to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce in an address Tuesday.  The Ft. Greely Missile Base with 26 interceptors is the center piece of the nation’s Ground Based Midcourse Missile Defense System.  The $18 billion Ft. Greely facility is nearing completion, and O’Reilly said his agency is committed to operate and maintain it for the long term.

General O’Reaily said a dangerous political climate in the world is driving the long term commitment.  O’Reilly cited smaller nations, like North Korea and Iran, which possess thousands of missiles that Alaska is in a key place to intercept.

O’Reilly said the ideal location of Ft. Greely means continued commitment to maintain the site as part of the multi element missile defense system, that includes another missile launch site in California.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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