WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the Subcommittee's hearing titled “Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request for Missile Defeat Programs and Activities.” For testimony and to watch the hearing click here.
"Good afternoon. I would like to welcome everyone to our hearing this afternoon, 'Fiscal Year 2018 Priorities and Posture of Missile Defeat Programs and Activities.'
We have an esteemed group of witnesses with us this afternoon, they are:
• Mr. Todd Harvey
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities
• Vice Admiral James Syring, USN
Director, Missile Defense Agency
• Lieutenant General James Dickinson, USA
Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense
and Commander, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Forces Command
• Mr. Barry Pike
Program Executive Officer, Army Missiles and Space
Before I begin, I would like to take the Chairman’s prerogative for a minute.
For almost 37 years, Vice Admiral Syring has served his country in uniform. Members of this subcommittee are most familiar with him as Director of the Missile Defense Agency, which he has led since November 2012. I remember the problems with the prior leadership of MDA, and the devastating impact on its morale, back in 2012. That has all changed under Admiral Syring’s leadership. I think there’s no better testament to his service and leadership than the recent Ground-based Midcourse Defense System test against an ICBM-class target. With everything that’s going on in the world, this success sends a powerful, and unmistakable, signal to allies and adversaries alike that we will defend ourselves from ballistic missile attack and threat of attack.
Admiral Syring, we thank you for your service and very much hope it isn’t yet complete.
Now, we are here today to examine the budget request of the Department of Defense for ballistic and cruise missile defense and missile defeat programs.
Since Kim Jong Un took power in 2012, North Korea has conducted 78 ballistic missile tests, of which 61 are considered to be successful. We have seen successful tests of solid fueled submarine-launched and ground-launched missiles, missiles that have flown to longer ranges than ever before, and, recently, press reporting suggests North Korea may have survived a re-entry vehicle.
So, the question more than ever, and more importantly than ever, is: are we properly resourcing our ballistic missile efforts and are we prioritizing the right programs the right way?
The President made clear during the campaign that he wanted to build a 'state of the art' ballistic missile defense. But his budget request actually would spend less than Congress enacted in fiscal year 2017. We need to do better if we are to accomplish the goal the President set out, which I believe we must. This is the challenge before us as we move to mark-up the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act."