Cochran Subcommittee Considers FY17 Missile Defense Agency Budget Needs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, today presided over a subcommittee hearing to review the FY2017 budget request for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Vice Admiral James D. Syring, director of the MDA, testified before the subcommittee.

The following is Cochran's opening statement, as prepared for delivery:

Today we are reviewing the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for the Missile Defense Agency.  

We are very pleased to be able to welcome Vice Admiral Jim Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency.

For Fiscal Year 2017, the President’s budget requests $7.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, a decrease of $800 million, or almost 10 percent, from last year’s enacted level.  

Over the past year, the Missile Defense Agency has had numerous successes, including fielding proven upgrades to our Nation’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense; establishing an Aegis Ashore site in Romania; and continuing our cooperative efforts with our allies world-wide, most notably with Israel.  Recent successful tests of Israeli missile defense programs clearly demonstrate the value of your work.

Despite the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget reductions, the budget requests full funding to deploy 44 Ground Based Interceptors by 2017.  It continues our commitment to regional missile defense, and invests in many different technologies to address evolving threats.

We appreciate your efforts to strengthen and expand our national missile defense capabilities.

Your full statement will be included in the record.

Now I turn to the Vice Chairman, Senator Durbin, for his opening remarks.  

Thank you.