Deployed missile defense systems have ties to Huntsville - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Deployed missile defense systems have ties to Huntsville

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Retired Lt. General Joseph Cosumano said this type of behavior with North Korea is very common. Retired Lt. General Joseph Cosumano said this type of behavior with North Korea is very common.

The North Korean military has moved a missile into firing position on the country's east coast.

U.S. intelligence said North Korea is capable of launching a nuclear attack, but the missile that would carry the atomic warhead doesn't have the range to hit the United States.

As the tension heats up, many observers are wondering what North Korea's next move may be and just how serious these threats of a missile launch really are from the nation's leader, Kim Jung Un.

Many policy makers and members of the military believe it may be the country's new leader trying to establish is presence and power.

However, the United States is taking these threats very seriously and taking precautions in response.

"This type of behavior is very common with North Korea and we have seen it in the past. I think the risk today is that we have an unproven leader and we really don't know exactly what he may do," said Lt. General Joseph Cosumano (Ret.) on the situation.

As a result, a number of missile defense systems are being deployed.

Just Wednesday, the Department of Defense announced the THAAD ballistic missile defense system is being sent to Guam.

"There is a dialogue going on between the program offices who supply repair parts and technical parts needed to operate those systems. It's a very rapid dialogue as these deployed forces get in position," explained Cosumano.

 The THAAD system and other missile defense systems have ties to Huntsville. They are developed in the Rocket City and managed at Redstone Arsenal through program offices that provide support.

"The biggest system that is made in Huntsville is the ground base interceptor that's in Alaska and California," said the Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, Riki Ellison.  "Those are the interceptors that can prevent and shoot down any of the long range missiles coming from North Korea towards Hawaii, Alaska, and the United States of America. That is our number one capability right now. A lot of credit goes to all of the people that are from the area that work there that are putting these systems in play today."

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