HEADING TO MD TEST CENTRAL
I am sitting in a very busy Los Angeles airport waiting for my flight to Kauai, Hawaii. The waiting line for some food is more than 30 minutes - I'd highly recommend more than one restaurant in this section of the airport. Talk about a monopoly.
I'm going back to Kauai for two reasons (was here for meeting in February 2012). First it's sort of a half-way point for my trip to the Philippines and Australia so I can break up that long journey. Secondly, and most importantly, the Pentagon has an ever expanding "missile defense" test range on Kauai. They launch dummy warheads from there and Navy Aegis destroyers (in photo above) park offshore and fire their "interceptor" missiles in an attempt to hit the dummy missiles. This testing program has met with more success than some other "missile defense" programs. This particular system is a key element in the US military first-strike program.
These same interceptors, called Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), have also been used by the US to knock a satellite out of space proving their capability as anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon.
You can imagine that Russia and China are not thrilled that these warships are cruising in their backyards.
More ports of call are needed for this growing class of warships thus the US has pressured the South Korean government to build the Navy base on Jeju Island and the Pentagon is negotiating with Vietnam, the Philippines and other Pacific nations to allow these ships back into their ports.
There is a peace group on Kauai and they are concerned about the missile test range on their beautiful island. Monsanto is also very busy on Kauai as well developing GMO food products. So there is a corporate military occupation of this garden paradise.
The peace group will show the Ghosts of Jeju documentary film and I will speak afterwards while I am on Kauai. I want to keep reminding folks about the importance of this missile test range that the Obama administration is now upgrading as they are planning to use the SM-3 interceptors on ground-based launch platforms that will be deployed in Romania as part of the US encirclement of Russia. They are calling it Aegis-ashore so the key role of Kauai can't be underscored.
While I'm on Kauai I do intend to dive into the ocean once or twice as well.