The Department of Defense’s failed missile defense test June 21 provided further proof of something we’ve been hoping isn’t true: it’s still pretty hard to block a speeding missile.
The test near Hawaii involved the new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile, a joint project between the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Japanese Defense Ministry. While radar aboard the USS John Paul Jones was able to detect and track the incoming medium-range ballistic target missile and fire off a guided intercepting missile, the system failed on the only part of the exercise that really matters: the actual intercept. Essentially, we whiffed.
The test marked the fourth for the SM-3 Block IIA, a missile designed to knock down medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. So far, developers on the project are one for two in actual intercept tests, with a successful knock-down carried out back in February. If and when the new interceptor missile clears the testing and development phase, it is slated to be incorporated in the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
It’s still unclear what exactly went wrong with the latest test. In a statement following the failure, the Missile Defense Agency said “program officials will conduct an extensive analysis of the test data. Until that review is complete, no additional details will be available.” When contacted by email, MDA Public Affairs Director Chris Johnson referred Task & Purpose to the agency’s statement.
The failure comes as the United States and its allies seek a workable counter to North Korea’s growing nuclear threat. Led by the impeccably coiffed Kim Jong Un, the North has carried out 10 missile tests since the beginning of 2017, increasing tensions with Washington and raising fears about a possible flare up on the volatile Korean Peninsula.
Obviously neither system has proven to be foolproof, and there’s clearly still work to be done. But, given the North’s incendiary rhetoric and nuclear aspirations, let’s hope both continue to improve, so we don’t have to look to the diplomatic skills of Dennis Rodman to save us from a possible collision with Pyongyang.
As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004.
All Medal of Honor recipients receive a pension starting on the date they formally receive the Medal of Honor, which is currently $1,329.58 per month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for a retroactive payment for monthly stipends that technically took effect on the "date of heroism," said Gina Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A unit of UK infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty plc falsified housing maintenance records at a major U.S. military base to help it maximize fees earned from the Department of Defense, a Reuters investigation found.
At Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company's U.S.-based unit used a second set of books and altered records to make it appear responsive to maintenance requests, Reuters found in a review of company and Air Force emails, internal memos and other documents, as well as interviews with former workers.