Did USAF Go to DEFCON 1 on Monday?!, 3764
Good evening, I’m still reporting on North Korea’s strategic threat.
If this story is true, then the United States Space Command and/or the Air Force went to this nation’s highest pre-war alert in preparation for a strategic intercept of an incoming North Korean hypersonic warhead – presumably nuclear tipped, last Monday?
The odds are that, yes, Joe Biden literally was called into service, as Commander-in-Chief, for about 17 minutes, prepared to give the “launch” signal for either the U.S. Space Command, or the Air Force, to launch from its precious hypersonic anti-missile missile fleet, from either the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and/or from Vandenburg Air Force base about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
North Korea claims that it’s new missile can speed towards it target at up to Mach 10 – or in excess of 7,000 miles an hour and is maneuverable during it’s decent glide to foil incoming anti-missile missiles. That would mean it could hit Los Angeles in 80 to 90 minutes. But, because the trajectory would have to take it over the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, that means that both the Aleutian Island missile defense system and the ones stationed at Vanderburg would get a shot at it.
How do we know all of this? Well, Tyler Rogoway put together the story for yesterday’s edition of “The Drive”.
First of all notice the picture of the actual missile launch. Notice that it is from a mobile truck platform. At one point, the U.S. Minuteman missile system had a mobile launcher system during the proposal phase of the development program. There was also a train-mounted system under development, however both were judged too hazardous. Imagine driving nuclear weapons sitting atop solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles continually circulating around on the Interstate Highway System. That might just create a tiny bit of unacceptable risk to the American public. So, both the mobile launcher and the train-mounted launcher systems were scrapped, and all of our existing Minuteman ICBM’s are buried deep in super-hardened silos scattered across the northern tier of the United States.
Why is a mobile platform good? From a defensive standpoint, they would be much more difficult to take out if they were constantly on the move. In a few minutes they could move safely away from their last known position.
Apparently, Tyler Rogoway is a pilot with contacts in commercial aviation because in his first sentence he says:
He goes on to say that his sources told them the ground stop came from the North Korean launch, until NORAD had had time to plot the course of the warhead. Because this was the first test of North Korea’s hypersonic maneuvering reentry vehicle, the military was unsure just what was going to happen.
The N. Korean launch came at 14:30 Pacific time on Jan. 10th – almost exactly 72 hours ago at this writing. Some pilots were told to land their airplanes immediately at the nearest airport. As far as I know, this was the first ground stop order issued since the 9-11 incident where, in the words of this nation’s most articulate Congresspersons from New York, someone did something to somebody.
It took until the next day for the FAA to make any announcement, at least confirming that there had been a West Coast ground stop at some airports:
“As a matter of precaution, the FAA temporarily paused departures at some airports along the West Coast on Monday night. Full operations resumed in less than 15 minutes. The FAA regularly takes precautionary measures. We are reviewing the process around this ground stop as we do after all such events.”
But Rogan found additional information. Apparently, the ground stop was issued within 2 minutes of the Korean launch and was issued for air traffic control centers in Anchorage, Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles. Sixteen minutes later, NORAD advised that the aerial maneuvering payload had splashed down in the Pacific east of Japan and the ground stop was halted.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry had played down North Korea’s earlier test on Jan. 5, insisting that the North exaggerated its capabilities after testing a conventional ballistic missile. Following Tuesday’s launch, the Joint Chiefs of Staff acknowledged that the North demonstrated more advanced capability compared to its previous test.
The Japanese Defense Minister said that North Korea’s efforts to advance its missile capabilities posed a serious threat to Japan. He said Japan will consider all options, including the possibility of pursuing pre-emptive strike capabilities, to strengthen its defense.
Other reports suggest that aircraft in the area of Vandenberg Air Force Base were told to leave the area immediately. In other words, a launch from America’s last line of defense was considered imminent. Although no official announcement has been made, if you look at the graphic of conditions under which such a launch would occur, it could h
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