News / USA

    N. Korea Tensions Prompt Change in US Air Force Radar Plans

    FILE - A view of COBRA DANE, an intelligence-gathering phased array radar system. The 21st Operations Group is in charge of the radar mission at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya Island, Alaska.
    FILE - A view of COBRA DANE, an intelligence-gathering phased array radar system. The 21st Operations Group is in charge of the radar mission at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya Island, Alaska.
    Reuters
    The U.S. Air Force has reversed budget-driven plans to reduce use of a missile-warning radar on the Aleutian Islands in light of heightened tensions with North Korea, the general in charge of space and cyberspace operations said on Tuesday.

    Struggling to find $508 million in savings for fiscal 2013, Air Force officials initially decided to scale back use of the radar to quarter power for the rest of the year. The move would have saved about $5 million.

    "With the situation in North Korea, we've decided to leave that at full power," General William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, told reporters at a conference in Colorado Springs.

    He declined comment on any additional changes being made due to tensions with North Korea, but said the Pentagon was watching developments closely.

    FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.
    x
    FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.
    FILE - Gen. William Shelton, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2011.
    "The entire Department of Defense, us included, [is] paying very close attention to the provocations by the North Koreans," Shelton said when asked about any actions taken by Air Force Space Command in response to the crisis. "You can let your mind go from there, but we're paying attention."

    The comments came the same day that the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific told Congress the United States is capable of intercepting a North Korean missile, should Pyongyang launch one in the coming days. But Washington may choose not to shoot it down if the projected trajectory shows it is not a threat.

    The Aleutian Islands are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 57 smaller ones that extend about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from the western coast of Alaska.

    The Air Force has operated various missile-tracking radars on one of the islands, Shemya, since 1943. It has a 95-foot diameter active electronically scanned array AN/FPS-108 Cobra Dane radar built by Raytheon Co at Eareckson Air Station on the island.

    Shelton said the Air Force's initial plan to reduce the radar's power would have eliminated its ability to track objects in space, but the Air Force has other ways to carry out that work.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    April 10, 2013 1:43 AM
    Caution needs to be excercised wrt dealing with a missile from an unpredictable opponent like NKorea, irespective of its initial trajectory, and its perceived end trajectory- No person will know---> the payload (no-payload?conventional explosive payload? chemical or biological payload? nuclear payload? or ?) nor if it has terminal guidance that could alter end trajectory; therefore it would be better if the missile failed/crashed in/at a safe area/location.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.