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Senator Inouye Seeks Special Missile Defense Funding for Hawaii

Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has proposed an amendment to the FY2010 Defense Appropriation Bill for the construction of an Aegis Ashore test facility. In September 2009, the Obama Administration reversed plans to deploy controversial missile defense systems in Poland and Czech Republic. Sen. Inouye’s request would reassign $68.5m FY2009 funds that were originally slated for European ground-based radar and interceptors.

Under the Obama Administration’s revamped approach to missile defense, existing Aegis ships equipped with Ballistic Missile Defense capability and missile interceptors would provide an immediate mobile defense for the U.S. and its allies. Ground based interceptor (GBI) silos located in Alaska and California will provide full capability long-range ballistic missile defense by 2015. The proposed Aegis Ashore facility’s in Kauai Island, HI would serve as a test facility for both sea and land based systems, as well as provide missile defense for the region. Although North Korea has yet to demonstrate the ability to reach Hawaii, such a facility could further boost the Pacific Fleet headquarters in a timely and cost effective manner.

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