The Missile Defense Agency recently finished a 12-day test of its ground-based system to ensure it would be ready for an attack in the Pacific. The test evaluated how its system would respond in the event of a real-life attack, and gave operators a chance to exercise their tactics, according to an MDA release. The MDA regularly tests its ground systems alongside the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, US Northern Command, and US Pacific Command, the release states. This test supported the planned increase of ground-based interceptors from 30 to 44 by the end of 2017. It also comes as North Korea amps up its testing of ballistic missiles and nuclear devices in recent months. The MDA test included the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system; Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance radars; the Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communication system; Upgraded Early Warning Radars; the Cobra Dane radar; the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense weapon system; the Patriot weapon system; Sea Based X-Band Radar; and the Space-Based Infrared System.
Americans’ trust and confidence in the U.S. military has declined precipitously in recent months, according to the results of a survey. Experts lay the blame on increasing political polarization and the fallout from this summer’s turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.