Eleven ground-based interceptor missiles buried in underground silos here represent a key part of a multi-layered defense system designed to protect the United States from a ballistic missile attack. These interceptors, and two more at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., would destroy incoming missiles at the “midcourse phase,” outside the earth’s atmosphere.
In the event of an attack, members of the Alaska Army National Guard’s 49th Missile Defense Battalion based here would use sophisticated surveillance and radar systems to track the missile through its initial boost phase, explained Maj. Joe Miley, the unit’s operations officer. If the missile reached the mid course phase, the Alaska Guardsmen would await the order to engage it.
On order, they would fire an interceptor at the incoming missile. The force of the collision --the equivalent of two refrigerators slamming into each other at 15,000 mph -- would destroy the target before it reentered the atmosphere, Miley said.
Miley noted that the National Guard is perfectly suited to perform such an important mission.
Wowie zowie. So, there is a battalion on full alert all the time, keeping its eye on Russia. But Governor Palin has no foreign policy experience. Yeah, okay, Obama. Just because YOU don't doesn't mean others don't, either. Just sayin'.
Well, how about Homeland Security, then? Major Joe Miley says this:
“The National Guard has traditionally done homeland defense,” he said, citing National Guard history dating back 370 years to the Minutemen in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. “And this is the epitome of homeland defense.”
Here at what Miley called the “strategic sweet spot” for missile defense, almost 200 Alaska Guardsmen who came from around the country to serve in the 49th Missile Defense Battalion take that calling pretty seriously.
The unit is a cross-section of America, at one time representing 46 states and territories, and all its members applied for three-year, Active Guard and Reserve assignments with the program, Miley explained.
Getting accepted into the program is tough, but passing the extensive training required is even tougher, Miley said. Applicants go through nine to 14 weeks of air defense training at Fort Bliss, Texas; a nine-week Ground Missile Defense operator course in Colorado Springs, Colo., then four more weeks of unit training in Colorado Springs before taking a certification test.
“We hire the best and put them through a rigorous training program,” Miley said. To pass the GMD operator course, for example, students have to score 90 percent or better.
“You have to be an A student or you can’t do GMD,” Miley said. “The way we conduct our training, you basically have to get everything right to progress to the next level, so there’s no room for error. We have very high standards.”
That’s a good thing, he said, in light of the responsibility they shoulder every day. Whether they’re providing security at the 800-acre missile defense complex here or manning fire direction center in what Miley called “the tank turret of missile defense,” they’re on the front lines of homeland defense.
There is more to this interesting article, and if you can, take a look at it. For anyone to claim that Governor Palin, as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard is merely serving as a figurehead is just plain inaccurate. I can sure see why Obama, who has not been an executive of ANYTHING would try to frame it that way, but - SURPRISE - he's incorrect. (By the way, there is an email going around that speaks even more to Palin's day-to-day oversight regarding the Alaska National Guard, but I have not been able to obtain independent verification of it beyond blogs, so I am not including it here.)
And can I just add, for Obama to claim PALIN is just "making stuff up" (funny - he said the exact same thing about Dobson) is laughable. Here is a man who hasn't met a fact he couldn't twist, or deny, or exacerbate. His books are proof enough of that, but if you need more, there are plenty out there. Here's a fun game. How many half-truths, truth manipulations, and flat out lies have come from Obama? I'll start you off with just two - there are so many, I don't want to monopolize them. The first is one of my favorites mainly because of the letter Senator McCain wrote to him regarding it. I've written about this before several times, and so has Larry Johnson. It's the one about Obama and Campaign Finance Reform. He brought it up again at Saddleback, all his work on it, and "quotes" from conversations he had. If only he had actually DONE any work on that committee, but he did not. McCain slammed him in his letter to him (which you can read HERE). Then there was his claim while in Israel that he was on the Banking Committee. He is not, never has been. You can watch the video HERE. And he has the "AUDACITY" to talk about anyone else's claims? What a joke. (I might add, from all reports, Palin is pretty much "what you see is what you get." Her open government and life, about which we know FAR more than Obama's in just a week, is far more transparent than Obama has ever been. He still refuses to release ANY pertinent information about himself or his records.) So, go to it - what are YOUR favorite Obama-manufactured statements?