It was the first live-fire intercept test of an intercontinental ballistic missile in history. A critical U.S. victory coming at a critical time.
Riki Ellison, Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance says, “It was phenomenal, historic, making our planet, our country safe from North Korea. It’s the first time ever we shot down an ICBM missile.”
Ellison started his organization to support the United States’ defense program and make it safer for all Americans. He was invited to watch the launch in person.
“They can’t threaten us. They cannot invest enough money. They cannot create the technology to hold the United States hostage with a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile. This is a tremendous achievement for just the deterrent ability it has,” Ellison said.
He calls it a win, win for the American public because it gives President Trump and his commanders more options to challenge North Korea.
As the mock warhead rose from across the Pacific Ocean, the interceptor roared into space from California’s Vandenberg airbase, more than 4000 miles away. Within an hour the five foot long interceptor hit its mark.
It’s described as the equivalent of hitting one speeding bullet with another.
“There is a very difficult calculation look at its arc and figure out where intercept is going to occur somewhere deep in outer space, that is truly rocket science in every sense of the word,” Col. Steve Ganyard, Former Secretary of State said.
Now both Pentagon and missile defense experts say the real work continues, picking through the data to ensure the same outcome each time.
Ellison says, “We will continue to get better, learn from it. We are going to add more capability, create better software, better hardware. But we had some big first’s this time. We had first avionic package and new C-2 booster which is the 3 stages that put the kill vehicle in the right spot.”
Ellison says the U.S. government plans to install eight new rockets at Vandenberg before the end of the year.