One More Mission for a Multi-mission Platform: An Argument for Support Relationships for Theater Missile Defense
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Establishing effective national missile defense is a top priority for the United States military. Improved missile defense assets, including the development of Aegis ballistic missile defense BMD, provide a strategic deterrent and a limited ability to defeat ballistic missile attacks. Operational commanders must leverage the assets developed for national missile defense to counter the more prevalent, likely and challenging threat of theater ballistic missiles. To do so requires the application of sound operational art. Specifically, clearly defined command and control relationships that ensure effective and sustained joint theater missile defense TMD are needed. The thesis of this paper is that a support relationship is the optimal C2 relationship for Aegis ships in TMD because it best provides the necessary logistics and protection for the Aegis BMD assets without sacrificing their efficacy in traditional maritime missions. This paper provides background information about the operational capabilities and limitations of Aegis BMD and discusses important distinctions between national and theater missile defense. Then it explains why the support relationship is best suited for Aegis BMD in the TMD mission and offers recommendations to ensure effective TMD C2 relationships are established.
- Antimissile Defense Systems