By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Detachment Hawaii
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC), toured the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) July 18 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Rose met with the Commanding Officer Cmdr. David Snee aboard the ship where they discussed the future of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), assets, its integration aboard naval ships, and toured various spaces including wardroom, combat information center and the bridge.
"The primary purpose of my visit is to consult with my Navy colleagues on cooperation in missile defense," said Rose. "And I received a fantastic and informative visit aboard USS "Amazing Grace" Hopper."
During his visit, Rose discussed the operations of the Pacific-based destroyers such as USS Hopper, their capabilities and role with the current defense systems as well as possible upgrades to newer systems.
"It was an opportune visit, and we were fortunate to host Mr. Rose and give him a brief on what we did on our most recent deployment to the Arabian Gulf," said Snee. "We talked about our collection missions and BMD missions, as well as high-visibility Missile Defense Agency (MDA) tests conducted last month."
Snee discussed the importance of a naval presence in the Pacific that is capable of conducting defense missions with proper support and training of the crew.
"In the Pacific theater, we not only conduct BMD missions but also air defense, submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare - we bring all the capabilities in this one ship to the region," he explained. "We are in a 'no fail' business. When the ships are called to do a BMD mission we cannot fail in what we do and that requirement is near and dear to the crew onboard. It trickles down to all the jobs on the ship, from cooking to engineering. The crew members all understand how important our mission is. You get only one opportunity to track a ballistic missile and shoot it down, and if you have missed that opportunity a lot of people can die."
The U.S. presence and its future in the Pacific were a crucial part of Mr. Rose's visit to Hawaii.
"It is critical to our defense posture in this region. We currently have ships with Aegis BMD capability in the Pacific," said Rose. "Given the importance of capabilities to the mission in the region, Secretary of Defense Hagel has directed that additional ships be sent here in the next couple of years."
Rose also added, "Creating the new strategic environment depends on strong cooperation with our allies and partners. In order to make this vision a reality, President Obama has made international cooperation on missile defense a key priority, and we are pursuing a region-by-region approach."
Upon completion of his visit, Rose shook hands and thanked the Sailors stationed aboard USS Hopper for the important job that they do in the service of their nation.
USS Hopper is named for Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, a naval officer and a pioneering computer scientist. The ship is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 31, deploying to the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Aegis BMD system was developed by the MDA in cooperation with the Navy. It is a sea-based element and provides warships with the capability of intercepting and destroying short and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Rose's primary task is advising on key issues related to arms control and defense policy. These issues include Ballistic Missile Defense, space security policy, and conventional arms control. His responsibilities also include liaison with the U.S. Intelligence Community on issues related to the verification of arms control treaties and agreements.