16 years later: missile defense system stands ready.

July 22, 2020 in Defense

The GMD team emplaced the first GMD interceptor at Fort Greely, Alaska, on July 22, 2004.

Boeing, Photo taken by Michael Gail

On July 22, 2004, the Boeing Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) team, in partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), emplaced the first Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) in its underground silo at Fort Greely, Alaska. This historic milestone marked progress towards a fully deployed missile defense system for the United States.

The operation involved the use of a special crane to lower the interceptor into the silo. Once the interceptor was vertical, it took only minutes to load it.

However, the transportation and preparation for the actual lift of the massive, three-stage interceptor was a painstaking process that required unflagging attention to safety and security. Read all about the process here.

This interceptor was the first of 16 planned for emplacement at the Fort Greely GMD site by the end of 2005. To date, Boeing has emplaced 44 GBIs at Fort Greely and continues to lead the industry team for GMD development, integration, testing, operations and sustainment activities under a development and sustainment contract that has been extended through 2023.

The views expressed are those of Boeing and do not constitute an endorsement by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).