Missile Defense Agency
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MDA Opens Missile Defense System Data Terminal at Fort Drum16-NEWS-0010
July 21, 2016
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, along with the U.S. Army, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at Fort Drum, New York, for the In-Flight Interceptor Communications System (IFICS) data terminal.
A critical link in the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, the data terminal is designed to send and receive messages to the Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) while in flight, constantly transmitting target updates. The data terminal also relays data from the EKV back to the GMD fire control system.
GMD is one element of the nation’s integrated ballistic missile defense system, providing the capability to engage and destroy limited intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile threats to protect the United States.
Brig. Gen. William T. Cooley, MDA program executive for programs and integration, hosted the event on behalf of the command. Brig. Gen. Paul Bontrager, 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum acting senior commander, David J. Leach, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division director of programs, Col. Timothy Lawson, 100th Missile Defense Brigade commander, and Col. Bryan J. Laske, Fort Drum garrison commander, participated in the ceremony.
“This state-of-the-art facility has enhanced our ability to deter or defeat the limited use of long-range ballistic missiles against our nation,” said Cooley. “It is a vital asset provided to U.S. Northern Command to execute their critically important homeland defense mission.”
Five other such terminals are currently in operation at Fort Greely, Alaska; Shemya, Alaska; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The data terminal facility was designed by Black and Veatch of Overland Park, Kansas, and constructed by Black Horse Group LLC, of Watertown, New York, under the oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Construction on the data terminal began in August 2013, and the site was accepted for operational use in December 2015 by U.S. Northern Command.
The Missile Defense Agency's mission is to develop, test and field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies and friends against all ranges of enemy ballistic missiles in all phases of flight.