The United States has made “significant” progress in its four-phase plan to establish a missile defense shield in Europe, said Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for arms control. Speaking at a missile defense conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Rose said the first phase of the European phased adaptive approach system became operational in March with the deployment of the USS Monterey, an Aegis cruiser equipped with anti-missile sensors and Standard Missile 3 interceptors, to the Mediterranean. The United States also is discussing deploying an AN/TPY-2 X-band missile-tracking radar somewhere in southern Europe, he said. As part of phase two, the United States and Romania in May jointly selected Deveselu Air Base, near Caracal, Romania, as an SM-3 missile defense interceptor site. That deployment is slated for the 2015 timeframe, said Rose. As for phase three, the United States last July reached a similar agreement with Poland to establish a US interceptor site in Poland around 2018. Poland is in the “final stages” of ratifying that plan, he said. For phase four, the Defense Department has begun concept development of a more advanced interceptor for deployment around 2020, he said. (Rose speech)
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.