Find a Security Clearance Job!


Initial Defensive Operations Capability (IDOC)

In 2002, the President directed the DoD to field a set of initial missile defense capabilities (National Presidential Directive 23) that would begin operation on 30 September 2004. In support of this direction, MDA established the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Initial Defensive Operations Capability (IDOC) [GMD IDOC] at Vandenberg AFB. The GMD IDOC will provide the ability to launch defensive GBI missiles in response to a limited long-range ballistic missile attack that threatens the United States. Site preparation for the Proposed Action began during fiscal year 2004. The defensive capabilities became operational by fiscal year 2005.

The candidate silos for Initial Defensive Operations Capability (IDOC) activities were Launch Facility (LF)-02, LF-03, LF-10, LF2 21, LF-23, and LF-24. LF-21 has been used by GMD for GBI flight tests, and LF-23 was previously reconfigured for booster verification tests. LF-02, LF-03, LF-10, and LF-24 were included as launch facility alternatives for IDOC activities following a selection screening process that included criteria such as location (i.e., distance from other proposed IDOC facilities), availability of infrastructure, physical condition of each facility, and the amount of possible environmental concerns at each site.

The four missile silos would be in an operational state at Vandenberg AFB with GBIs installed, ready to defend the United States against a limited strategic ballistic missile attack. One silo could function as both an operational silo and a test launch silo. This dual-use capability would enable the GMD program to use the silo for occasional test launches as analyzed in the GMD Extended Test Range Environmental Impact Statement (July 2003). At all other times, the dual-use silo would be in an operational state.

The GBI acts in a defensive mode to intercept incoming ballistic missile warheads outside the Earth's atmosphere and destroy them by force of impact. No nuclear warheads would be used by the GBI defensive interceptor. During flight, the GBI receives information from the In-Flight Interceptor Communication System Data Terminal (IDT), enabling the GBI onboard sensor system to continually discriminate and track the target. The GBI missile consists of a three-stage solid propellant booster and an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV). Each GBI would contain approximately 20,500 kilograms (45,000 pounds) of hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene solid propellant. Each EKV would contain approximately 7.5 liters (2 gallons) each of liquid fuel (monomethyl hydrazine) and liquid oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide). The liquid fuel and liquid oxidizer tanks would arrive at the site fully fueled.

Additional components associated with an operational IDOC include a Component Site Communication Node or potentially a GMD Fire Control/Communication Node, a Readiness Station (for operational, defensive readiness activities), sensors (existing range radars and fixed or mobile telemetry and optics equipment), and an IDT (fixed or relocatable).

Existing facilities would be required for the following functions: Missile Assembly/EKV/Interceptor Integration, Security Response Force Outpost, Readiness Station, GMD Fire Control/Communication components (IDT, GMD Communication Node, and GMD Fire Control), interceptor storage, administrative/office space, Peculiar Support Equipment (IDOC-associated equipment such as the "strongback" trailer used for transport) storage, EKV fuel tank storage, EKV oxidizer tank storage, and warehouse/maintenance/storage facilities. Several of these facilities may require interior modifications and the installation of additional infrastructure (i.e., security fencing, lighting, communications lines, water line upgrades, re-grading for proper storm drainage, septic tank and leach field, etc.).

Join the mailing list