Rapid Development Officer Leads Guam Air Defense Initiative

Rapid Development Officer Leads Guam Air Defense Initiative

Rapid Development Officer Leads Guam Air Defense Initiative

Lt. Gen. Robert Rasch mentioned during an interview on March 27 that Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Bill LaPlante established the Guam Defense Systems Joint Project Executive Office. Members from all services will be part of this office, which RCCTO will oversee.

Lt. Gen. Robert Rasch also stated that the office is currently forming, reallocating fiscal 2024 funding to initiate operations.

Last year, the Army took on the responsibility of leading the acquisition and execution plan for the Guam architecture. The new office under RCCTO will concentrate on integrating technology to establish a joint air and missile defense fires capability to safeguard the strategic Pacific island.

Pentagon leaders are emphasizing the importance of strengthening Guam’s defense systems by 2024, with a focus on countering the threat posed by China. The Army is working towards establishing a solid defense capability to prevent any potential attacks during this crucial year.

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The Missile Defense Agency and the Army have requested a combined budget of $1.5 billion for FY24 to kickstart the process of fortifying Guam by relocating assets and integrating various capabilities. This initiative tests the Army significantly, often overshadowed by air and naval power in the Indo-Pacific region.

A successful defense strategy in Guam could solidify the Army’s role in air and missile defense within the region. The initial defense measures will involve the deployment of radars, launchers, interceptors, and a command-and-control system.

The Army is seeking $638 million for the fiscal year 2024 in order to procure three Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensors, several Patriot air defense systems, along with Mid-Range Capability missile launchers and Indirect Fire Protection Capability launchers. Moreover, the service intends to utilize the Northrop Grumman-made Integrated Battle Command System to link the appropriate sensors to the correct shooters on the battlefield.

The Navy will contribute technology and capability from its Aegis weapon system; the service has authority over the locations where the technology will be deployed.

Furthermore, the FY24 funding requests aim to encompass the installation of four high-end, solid-state, mobile AN/TPY-6 radars around the island’s periphery. These new sensors incorporate technology from the Long Range Discrimination Radar in Clear Space Force Base, Alaska.

Rasch clarified that the objective is to synchronize all these components to align at a precise moment or place in Guam, guaranteeing the establishment of a practical capability. This goes beyond simply transporting a radar to a location that lacks power, infrastructure, or a maintenance setup. We focus on harmoniously integrating all elements to create a capability, not just a tangible item, alongside building a comprehensive layered capacity.

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