Alaska National Guard key element of missile defense



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 midcourse 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.

The missiles are at Fort Greeley, Alaska. Here is another story on the missile defense responsibilities of the Alaska National Guard. As commander of the guard, it appears that Palin has had more direct national security experience than either of the Democrat candidates both of who have opposed missile defense. I look forward to Palin's debate with Biden on this issue.


  1. From a December 10th, 2006 article in the Herald Tribune:

    "While the 49th is an Alaska National Guard unit, Hildreth reports to Colonel Michael Yowell, commander of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade, based in Colorado."

    Hmm... Sounds like Palin is not commander of this particular unit. Can someone confirm this? I'd honestly like to know either way.


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