By Debbie Gregory.
Recently, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) began bolstering its security, including carrying out increasingly realistic tests of its missile defenses.
Officials from the MDA have begun undertaking these measures due to the fact that North Korea has fielded hundreds of missiles that have the capability of reaching U.S. forces based in Japan and South Korea. Despite the ongoing negotiations for a nuclear treaty, the MDA is also concerned with Iran’s development of more sophisticated missiles. These missiles endanger U.S. and allied naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, as well as commercial shipping on the Strait of Hormuz. The MDA contends that both North Korea and Iran could achieve the capability of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile as early as this year.
In March, 2015, the Pentagon launched a full review of missile defense programs and capabilities, a necessary action after the budget cuts to the Army and Navy. The review is being carried out by an office within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the intention of meeting defense requirements with the forces required under the new budget. But the demand for regional ballistic missile defense forces clearly exceeds what the military services are able to provide after budget cuts.
In the meantime, the MDA is carrying out more exercises to prepare for possible missile attacks, while increasing the tempo and complexity of its testing, reducing costs, and investing in new technologies.
The MDA is also working with the DOD’s chief weapons tester and military commands operating missile defense systems to ensure defense against escalating cyberattacks. The agency has completed dozens of inspections and tests to improve the cyber defenses of its weapons systems, guarding against attacks by insiders, and ensuring that contractors and suppliers do a better job protecting their computer networks. The MDA is also working with federal law enforcement to track and hunt down cyber attackers.
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Military Connection: Military Ups Missile and Cyber Defenses: By Debbie Gregory