BUCHAREST, Romania --- Thanks very much, Under Secretary Gottemoeller, and thank you again to the students and faculty at the National Defense University for hosting us today.
My name is Frank Rose, and as the Under Secretary mentioned, I am responsible for overseeing a range of defense issues at the U.S. Department of State, including missile defense policy. In this capacity, I served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the missile defense base agreements with Romania, Turkey, and Poland.
You heard the Under Secretary discuss just now the United States’ goals and vision for strategic stability. I’ll now take a few moments to discuss the specifics of where we are with regard to implementation of the President’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to missile defense.
In 2009, the President announced that the EPAA would “provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's Allies,” while relying on “capabilities that are proven and cost-effective.”
Since then, we have been working hard to implement his vision and have made significant progress.
EPAA Phase 1 gained its first operational elements in 2011 with the start of a sustained deployment of an Aegis BMD-capable multi-role ship to the Eastern Mediterranean and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey.
With the declaration of an Interim BMD Capability at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, this radar transitioned to NATO operational control.
Demonstrating its commitment to NATO collective security, Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis BMD-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota as a Spanish contribution to NATO missile defense.
In February 2014, the first of four missile defense-capable Aegis ships, the USS DONALD COOK, arrived in Rota, Spain. Shortly after it arrived in Europe, it made a port call in April at Constanta, where President Basescu toured the ship. Since then a second ship, the USS Ross, has arrived in Rota [on June 16th]. The two remaining Aegis multi-mission ships will deploy in 2015.
These multi-mission ships will conduct maritime security operations, humanitarian missions, bilateral and multilateral training exercises, and support U.S. and NATO operations, including NATO missile defense.
Stationing these naval assets in Spain places them in a position to maximize their operational flexibility for missions in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
With regard to Phase 2, as you know, we have a bilateral agreement, ratified by Romania in December of 2011, to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 missile defense interceptor site beginning in 2015.
We greatly appreciate Romania’s active role in preparing for the U.S. construction of the missile defense facility at Romania’s Deveselu Military Base.
Romania’s whole-of-government support for the timely completion of the basing agreement’s implementing arrangements and Romania’s provision of security and its infrastructure efforts are a model for international ballistic missile defense cooperation.
In October 2013, I had the honor of attending the groundbreaking ceremony at Deveselu Air Base to commemorate the start of construction at the site.
And just over a month ago in early October of this year, the U.S. Navy held a historic Naval Support Facility Establishment Ceremony at the Missile Defense Facility on the Deveselu Base. This ceremony established the Naval Facility and installed its first U.S. Commander. We view this as the first step in transitioning the facility from a construction site to the site of operations sometime next year.
When operational, this site, combined with BMD-capable ships in the Mediterranean, will enhance coverage of NATO territory and populations from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East.
I also had the opportunity last year to visit the Lockheed-Martin facility in Moorestown, New Jersey, where they build the Aegis Ashore deck house and components that have already arrived at the base at Deveselu.
And it is very notable that the U.S. Aegis Ashore Test Site at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (near Kauai, Hawaii) launched its first live fire test in May of this year (May 21, 2014). This test site will ensure that all the software and hardware at the Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland are rigorously tested on a live-fire range that can be fully integrated with other EPAA elements.
And just over a week ago (November 6), MDA conducted flight tests of several aspects of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Systems in the waters near the PMRF. One element of this test was the successful use of an SM-3 Block IB interceptor. The SM-3 Block IB is the EPAA Phase 2 interceptor destined for the MD Facility at Deveselu Military Base.
As a result of all of this work, we remain on schedule for deploying the system to Romania, with the site becoming operational in 2015.
At the same time, we have already begun work on Phase 3. This phase includes an Aegis Ashore site in Poland equipped with the new SM-3 Block IIA interceptor.
This site is on schedule for deployment in the 2018 time frame. The interceptor site in Poland is key to the EPAA: When combined with other EPAA assets, Phase 3 will provide the necessary capabilities to provide ballistic missile defense coverage of all NATO European territory and populations in the 2018 time frame against intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
So, as you can see, we are continuing to implement the President’s vision for stronger, smarter and swifter missile defenses.
The United States looks forward to continuing to work with our allies and friends in Romania and around to world to improve our collective security.