Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

02/10/2009 01:30 PM House MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:43:08 PM Start
01:43:40 PM HJR12
01:56:24 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
Moved Out of Committee
HJR 12 - GROUND-BASED MIDCOURSE DEFENSE SYSTEM                                                                                
1:43:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GATTO  announced that the  only order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  JOINT  RESOLUTION NO.  12,  Relating  to the  Ground-based                                                               
Midcourse Defense System.                                                                                                       
1:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
ANGELA BLANCHARD,  Staff, Representative Nancy  Dahlstrom, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,   on  behalf  of   Representative  Dahlstrom,                                                               
sponsor, asked  the committee  for its support  of HJR  12, which                                                               
urges Congress to [provide the  necessary funding for the ongoing                                                               
development,  operation,  and  maintenance] of  the  Ground-based                                                               
Midcourse Defense System, which is  one of the country's lines of                                                               
defense  against   foreign  ballistic   missile  threats.     The                                                               
program's first interceptors were  placed at Fort Greely, Alaska,                                                               
in 2004, and  have the capability of  intercepting and destroying                                                               
a missile mid-air.   The nation's defense of its  citizens is the                                                               
primary  reason to  continue financing  this program,  though its                                                               
economic impact on  Alaska is substantial in that  it brings $250                                                               
million into  the state as  well provides  over 700 jobs,  200 of                                                               
which  are at  Fort Greely  itself.   The  military continues  to                                                               
promote   the  Ground-based   Midcourse  Defense   System  as   a                                                               
successful  program;  as  recently   as  2008,  the  Ground-based                                                               
Midcourse Defense System at  Fort Greely successfully intercepted                                                               
a missile  launched from  Kodiak.   In conclusion,  she indicated                                                               
that the  Ground-based Midcourse  Defense System is  supported by                                                               
Alaska's congressional delegation.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS  disclosed a possible conflict  of interest                                                               
in that [his company] conducts a  lot of business with Boeing and                                                               
with a lot of "ground missile defense entities."                                                                                
MS.   BLANCHARD,  in   response  to   a  question,   offered  her                                                               
understanding  that   the  program's   most  recent   [test]  was                                                               
1:48:21 PM                                                                                                                    
McHUGH PIERRE,  Director of Communications,  Legislative Liaison,                                                               
Office  of  the   Commissioner/Adjutant  General,  Department  of                                                               
Military &  Veterans' Affairs (DMVA), said  that the Ground-based                                                               
Midcourse Defense  System has  been successful  with a  number of                                                               
test launches.   A radar  system was  set up in  Juneau; missiles                                                               
were sent from Kodiak to simulate  a missile launch from the area                                                               
of North  Korea; and interceptors  were launched  from Vandenberg                                                               
Air  Force Base  in California.   What  occurred was  an "inertia                                                               
destruction of  the attack vehicle,"  in that a solid  object was                                                               
launched,  was guided  by  radar, and  collided  with the  attack                                                               
vehicle  in space.    In  conclusion, he  relayed  that the  DMVA                                                               
supports HJR 12,  and urges the committee and  the legislature to                                                               
support it  as well  because of its  economic impact  on Alaska's                                                               
communities, and  because it provides training  and longevity for                                                               
the guard members involved.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS characterized  the Ground-based  Midcourse                                                               
Defense System  as being  good for Alaska,  the country,  and for                                                               
the safety of the world.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  relayed that he's  been to Fort  Greely, was                                                               
impressed with  the professionalism  of the  activities occurring                                                               
there,  and  had the  opportunity  to  watch  a simulation  of  a                                                               
missile intercept, which he characterized as sophisticated.                                                                     
1:51:48 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIGADIER  GENERAL   JULIO  (RANDY)  BANEZ,   Assistant  Adjutant                                                               
General, Space  and Missile Defense,  Alaska Army  National Guard                                                               
(AK  ARNG), Department  of Military  & Veterans'  Affairs (DMVA),                                                               
relayed   that  the   ground  missile   defense  system   is  the                                                               
cornerstone  of the  U.S. Missile  Defense Agency's  multilayered                                                               
missile  defense   architecture.    Ground  missile   defense  is                                                               
designed to  detect, track, discriminate, intercept,  and destroy                                                               
long-  and  intermediate-range   ballistic  missiles  during  the                                                               
midcourse -  the exoatmospheric  - phase of  flight.   The weapon                                                               
system consists of land-, sea-,  and space-based sensors, command                                                               
and control  operations, and  silo-based interceptors,  which are                                                               
located  at Vandenberg  Air  Force Base  in  California and  Fort                                                               
Greely in Alaska.                                                                                                               
BRIGADIER GENERAL BANEZ said the  economic impact of this program                                                               
on  Alaska is  significant, accounting  for over  $65 million  in                                                               
economic  activity in  salaries  and  expenditures annually  from                                                               
Fort Greely.   The  military built  a new  public library  and an                                                               
elementary  school  in  Delta  Junction  a  few  years  ago,  and                                                               
currently there  are several "quality  of life" projects  at Fort                                                               
Greely.   This  summer "we"  will start  building 126  new homes,                                                               
taking about six years to complete;  a new community center and a                                                               
fire  station  will break  ground  next  year with  an  estimated                                                               
completion time of two years; and  a total of over $75 million in                                                               
building projects are programmed for the next several years.                                                                    
BRIGADIER GENERAL  BANEZ said that  additionally, Fort  Greely is                                                               
programmed  to  continue  to  improve   the  missile  field  with                                                               
hundreds  of millions  of dollars  for  a future  power plant  in                                                               
2009/2010, and for additional silos.   During a recent interview,                                                               
he noted, Delta Junction  mayor, Mary Leith-Dowling, acknowledged                                                               
that the City  of Delta Junction and the military  enjoy a strong                                                               
relationship.  Today, he continued,  roughly 200 soldiers of "the                                                               
49th Missile  Defense Battalion, your Alaska  guardsman," operate                                                               
the ground missile defense system 24  hours a day, 7 days a week,                                                               
365 days  a year in order  to defend the homeland  of 300 million                                                               
Americans.  With  the AK ARNG manning and  protecting the missile                                                               
defense system, Alaska  is playing a critical role, as  well as a                                                               
high-visibility  role, in  the defense  of America  and in  world                                                               
MR. PIERRE,  in response to  a question, explained  that although                                                               
at  one  time  Fort  Greely   had  been  scheduled  for  closure,                                                               
groundbreaking  and construction  activity  for the  Ground-based                                                               
Midcourse Defense System instead began in 2002/2003.                                                                            
1:55:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved to report  HJR 12 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HJR  12 was  reported from  the House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 12 Backup.pdf HMLV 2/10/2009 1:30:00 PM
HJR 12
Sponsor Statement HJR 12.pdf HMLV 2/10/2009 1:30:00 PM
HJR 12