Lt. General Henry "Trey" Obering, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director, announced today the successful completion of an exercise held Feb. 7 involving Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) elements while participating in a routine operational test of a U.S. Air Force strategic missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. as a "target of opportunity."

Operational elements of the BMDS, including an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense destroyer and a AN/TPY-2 transportable X-band radar, successfully detected and tracked the missile. Other participating sensors included the Airborne Infrared Surveillance/Plume (rocket motor exhaust) Acquisition Targeting System, the Sensor Netting Experiment and the External Sensors Laboratory.

These sensors provided acquisition and track data to the BMDS Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system using operational communications links. This test demonstrated the command and control element's ability to integrate data from a number of different sensors to improve the system's accuracy and responsiveness in detecting, identifying, tracking and targeting hostile ballistic missiles.

The Air Force test, called Glory Trip 193, was part of a continuing program to evaluate and demonstrate the operational readiness of our ground-based strategic deterrent force. The ability to utilize a target of opportunity allows MDA to conduct numerous important exercises and obtain extensive data without incurring the expense associated with launching a test-specific target missile