The Difference Between
a Good and Great Officer Is About Ten Seconds
The Difference Between a Good and Great Officer
Is About Ten Seconds
Remarks by The Secretary of the Navy
Gordon R. England at the National Missile Defense Conference, Ronald Reagan
Center, Washington, D.C. March 22, 2004.
Source: Navy Office of Information, Washington D.C.
My thanks to
General Ron Kadish, an "old" friend.. Speaking after lunch, the worst possible
time - other than speaking before lunch - especially with technical personnel!
make this "lite fare," easily digestible and, therefore, will begin by referring
to Einstein and his Theory of Relativity! In overly simplistic, plain language:
time is not constant and the universe is not constant. What you observe depends
on your reference frame. This is a segue to understanding the premise for
missile defense. In secular terms, the events in the world today also need to be
viewed in a relative context. New dangers across time and distance pose new
challenges to freedom and our way of life.
Bush has great clarity of vision in understanding the threat to America and to
our friends and allies and great resolve in its defeat. He therefore is a
proponent of your efforts, and I completely support his view. Here's why.
Ism was Facism - WWII ended successfully - new governments in Japan and
"Ism" - Communism from Korea till the Wall came down in 1989 in Berlin.
Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) - bomb shelters.
"ism" - Terrorism is the worst ism and threat.
9-11, about 3000 killed, last week about 200 killed in Spain - use reference -
would terrorists have killed 3M if given the opportunity? MAD still effective
against rational enemies but not against irrational regimes, irrational
· Almost to
this day … on March 23rd, 1983, 21 years ago … President Reagan
addressed the Nation and announced the concept of a missile defense program to
be carried out by the end of the century. Although that vision has ebbed and
flowed under other administrations … and designs and timelines have shifted over
the last two decades … today, we stand on the brink of achieving a significant
milestone in our Nation's security.
And, in fact,
his "Star Wars" initiative held the potential to negate the MAD standoff to the
advantage of the U.S. and was therefore quite likely instrumental in the
eventual downfall of the Soviet Union. At the macro level, the objective of
today's missile defense program is to provide a stable environment in which our
people and our allies can flourish. Security and economic development are two
sides of the same coin. Security is necessary for economic development, and, in
the long term, economic development is needed for security. In all cases,
security comes first, and that is the fundamental objective of not only the
National Security Strategy … but a Missile Defense System as well. Peace and
prosperity are not ordained … but earned.
This is one
of the reasons the President, in his National Security Strategy, wrote, "History
will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act. In the
new world we have entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of
9/11 age of uncertainly is no time to be cutting corners on national security or
wishing away a threat. No one understands this better than the President who,
like many before him in times of war, faces a historic challenge to reassess our
national security policies.
A few weeks
ago, on Meet the Press, the President stated, "I don't think America can stand
by and hope for the best …it is essential … that, when we see a threat, we deal
with those threats before they become imminent. It's too late if they become
imminent. It's too late in this new kind of war."
President Bush made two significant announcements that thrust the Navy into the
forefront of missile defense development. First, the withdrawal from the 1972
ABM treaty … which had prohibited sea-based ballistic missile defense systems …
opened new doors to the Navy in testing and deployment of NMD capabilities. Our
threats today are no longer grounded in a Cold War architecture and, therefore,
our defenses shouldn't be either. This was the first step in achieving this
late 2002, President Bush accelerated plans and called on the Missile Defense
Agency to have an initial deployment capability by the end of 2004, to include
sea-based assets. This, too, brought greater emphasis and focus to the Navy's
existing technology and its worldwide mobility. Quite simply … Missile Defense
of our homeland is a priority to the President and to our national security and,
therefore, a priority to the Navy. I am proud and pleased to be leading the Navy
in this vital role and participation.
convictions on the importance of Missile Defense and the significance of the
work that you all do on a daily basis … I'd like to turn now to some specifics
about the Navy's role in the current vision of Missile Defense.
to this role is to project power and influence from the sea - an enduring and
unique contribution of the Navy toward national security. Navies fight away
games - it doesn't matter if it is 10 or 10,000 miles offshore. We're the first
defense so that the last defense may not be needed.
subject of technology … our efforts in missile defense are not simply
theoretical. Aegis BMD employs currently operational forces and a proven
development approach that follows the guideline: "build a little, test a little,
learn a lot".
As part of
the President's directive to accelerate the fielding of a BMD Initial Defensive
Operations capability … the Navy will deploy in the Sea of Japan, beginning this
September and on a virtually continuous basis thereafter, a guided missile
destroyer to serve as a Long-Range Surveillance and Tracking (LRS&T) platform.
that in just 6 months, we will have queuing and target data from this region of
the world that can be instantaneously shared with command and control and ground
based elements of our layered defense system.
This is just
the first increment in a three-phased approach by the Navy to achieve full
missile defense capability. The second phase - preliminary engagement capability
- is to be deployed in 2005 and will include outfitting of an Aegis BMD cruiser
with SM-3 blk 1 missiles to counter both short and medium range ballistic
The third and
final phase will be more robust engagement capability, to be achieved in spring
2006. At that time … just two years from now … the Navy will have 10 DDG's and
one CG fully configured and capable of carrying out BMD operations against a
wide variety of missile threats from virtually anywhere in the world.
The Navy is
also evaluating the benefits associated with developing a Sea-based Terminal
Missile Defense capability. A viable regional and terminal sea based ballistic
missile defense system is important to ensure the safety of U.S. forces and the
flow of those forces through foreign ports and airfields when required.
line is that we need to get forces ashore under the threat of ballistic missiles
during a crisis … or even during actual missile strikes … and a sea-based
missile defense system can help make this a reality.
Navy BMD has successfully tracked ICBM's, passed and shared command and control
data, and made 4 of 5 engagements in operational testing. Today, we continue to
refine our capabilities and hone our resources toward an integrated missile
defense system and stand ready to meet our objectives.
telling difference in the new reference frame for missile defense is the
timeline. We are no longer compelled to pursue a 100 percent solution that's
been totally perfected before it's deployed.
Missile Defense Agency and the Navy are moving to rapidly deploy missile defense
capabilities which will provide not only the military, but also the Nation, with
a mobile, sustainable, globally accessible and highly capable layered defense
deterrent force to defend against world-wide ballistic missiles and potential
weapons of mass destruction.
should not be the mere avoidance of another 9/11 2001, but also a freedom from
fear of another 9/11 anywhere in the world. This is what's at the core -- the
strength -- of a future Global Missile Defense System. This is our battle, and
together with our friends and allies, we can prevail.
forefather of the Captains of the Navy ships that will soon conduct the first
missile defense patrols…the indomitable Arleigh Burke … once said, "The
difference between a good and great officer is about ten seconds". Like
Einstein, President Bush understands that time is not constant - it is relative.
We cannot wait as danger gathers.
Ours is a
path of action. Missile defense is a new and vital mission that is our reason
for being - to defend America and our friends and allies. In closing, let me
affirm the Navy's contribution to National Missile Defense … we are fully
engaged and rapidly creating a reality for the sake of our security and
prosperity. I also want to add that we have no "service imperative" in missile
defense. Our sole objective is to support General Kadish to meet the President's
Thank you all
for giving me the opportunity to speak with you today. I am proud to stand with
each of you in protecting and defending our way of life.
God bless all
of you, and God bless America.