The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) departs Joint Base Pearl-Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled underway.
U.S. Navy photo
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.
The U.S. military does not need Iraqi permission to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS clarified on Tuesday.
Army Col. James Rawlinson clarified that the Iraqis do not need to approve missions in emergency circumstances after Task & Purpose reported on Monday that the U.S. military needed permission to fly CAS missions for troops in a fight.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
Americans' mighty military may have met its match when it comes to erecting barriers to keep out intruders.
An alligator in Florida recently had zero trouble flopping over a chain-link fence to get onto a naval air base. Motorist Christina Stewart pulled over to film it, and local television station WJAX posted it on Facebook.