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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

Horn Relieves Hicks As Aegis BMD Program Director

November 13, 2009

Rear Admiral Joseph A. Horn, USN, has relieved Rear Admiral Alan B. Hicks, USN, as the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Program Director, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. In ceremonies Friday, Nov. 13, at the Washington Navy Yard, Horn also assumed command of the Navy's Air and Missile Defense Command.

During his tour, Hicks led the successful intercept of a disabled satellite during Operation Burnt Frost in February, 2008, in which the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fired a modified Standard Missile -3 (SM-3) to destroy the satellite before a potentially dangerous reentry occurred. It was also under Hicks' leadership that the Aegis BMD Program began four annual joint intercept flight tests with Japan. The third and most recent test occurred two weeks ago with the Japanese destroyer JS MYOKO successfully intercepting a medium-range separating target off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. It marked the 20th overall successful intercept in 24 at-sea firings for the Aegis BMD program.

Hicks, a native of Henderson, KY, graduated from the University of Louisville in 1976, with a degree in International Studies and Economics, and received a commission as an Ensign through the Naval Reserve Officer Candidate program. His sea tours include Commanding Officer of USS Hayler (DD 997) and USS Cape St. George (CG 71). He was the Director for Network Systems/Integration (N766) for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center.  He is retiring after 33 years of Naval service.

Horn, a Pennsylvania native and U.S. Naval Academy graduate previously served as Deputy Director of the Missile Defense Agency.  He also commanded USS Stout (DDG 55) and USS Lake Erie (CG 70).

The keynote speaker and host for the ceremonies was Admiral Mike Mullen, USN, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.