are meant to defend against,” the report said. The high
costs also limit the number of BMD weapons available,
CSBA advocated a mix of “active defenses” against
the ballistic missile threat, which would include long-range strikes on the missile sites and surveillance systems that could guide the missiles.
In announcing his decision to stand-up NAMDC dur-
ing a March 4 speech to the Fredericksburg, Va., Chamber
of Commerce Military Affairs Council, Roughead said:
“When I became CNO, I said ballistic missile defense is
going to be a core mission for the Navy, and we’re seeing
that capability and capacity in greater demand than ever
before.” Creating NAMDC was necessary to “stay in front
of this critical mission area.”
The emphasis on BMD was reflected in the choice of
Rear Adm. Alan B. “Brad” Hicks, then director of the Aegis
BMD Program Office, as NAMDC’s interim commander.
O’Bryan, a career surface warfare officer who has
commanded mine sweepers, destroyers and a carrier
strike group, took command in January.
“BMD is a subset of the larger integrated air and
missile defense mission,” O’Bryan said.
Because of that, NAMDC works with the Missile Defense Agency and the Navy BMD office “on how the
Navy plays into that larger BMD set of systems” and
“on the things that the Navy needs to better do our
job,” he said.
After 19 months in business, NAMDC still is working to achieve full operational capability, which
O’Bryan expects by next October. The command currently has about 65 percent of its projected manning of
25 military personnel, 30 to 35 federal civilian employees and 15 to 25 contractors, for a total of about 75.
The command is structured with the traditional
departments, but the work load is divided primarily
into operations, policies and doctrine, communications and networks, training, and experiments and
exercises, O’Bryan said.
The operations sector looks at the Navy’s planning
for air and missile defense, does analytical work “to
ensure the plans have operational realistic value,” so the
fleet is “able to accomplish its mission with the capabilities we have,” and provides fleet feedback, he said.
NAMDC does not do training, but studies the training programs aimed at preparing fleet units to deploy
to “see how well they are performing” and recommends possible improvements to Fleet Forces
Command and the Pacific Fleet training task force.
While the command does not produce requirements
for air and missile defense, it looks at the capabilities
coming into the fleet “to see if they are performing as
they were advertised to do” and advises the resource
sponsor, O’Bryan said.
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver conducts
a Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) pre-aim calibration fire
exercise in the Pacific Sept. 9. The Phalanx CIWS is a last-
ditch system to defend against aircraft and anti-ship missiles,
firing 4,500 rounds per minute from a six-barrel Gatling gun.
It also helps to develop tactics, techniques and procedures, and to craft doctrine and the tactical publications that guide operations at sea.
The command is into a lot more than just the guns
and missiles that can defend ships, O’Bryan said. It is
heavily engaged in the broad field of communications,
which includes the data networks and the computer
systems that are integrated with the weapon systems.
And it works with the “soft-kill” systems, such as
electronic jammers and mechanical decoys that are
vital parts of an integrated defense. Those devices can
make a missile miss its target, which can be as effective
as the “hard-kill solutions,” he said.
“So NAMDC looks at soft-kill solutions as well as
hard-kill solutions and makes recommendations to the
fleet commanders on how to employ them,” O’Bryan said.
The command’s personnel include “BMD career
path officers, officers who have gained experience out
in the fleet operating these weapon systems,” he said.
Its civilian employees “bring not only continuity, but
they are specialized in certain areas, such as in networks, financial management support, experts in experiments, research and development,” O’Bryan said.
The contractors work on systems and task-related
projects. Although some are full time, the command also
uses contract personnel on a temporary basis to meet
additional tasking or to provide expertise the staff lacks.
O’Bryan said he has received “good financial support”
from his superiors, with a fiscal 2010 budget of about
$11 million. The budget is projected to go to about $13
million in future years as the staffing is completed.
Although new, O’Bryan said NAMDC “has added a
tremendous value in operationalizing and understanding
integrated air and missile defense for the CNO and the
fleet. I think the fleet recognized and appreciates what
this center of excellence has done in the last few months
and [will do] in the future.” ■