The Los Anges Times cites Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Patrick O’Reilly’s efforts to improve Ground Based Interceptor reliability while as Director of the Missile Defense Agency:
In late 2008, Bush appointed an experienced physicist to lead the Missile Defense Agency.
Army Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O’Reilly discovered that the agency was spending more to prepare the harsh terrain at Ft. Greely for a planned third field of interceptors than to improve the problem-plagued kill vehicles.
O’Reilly persuaded Defense Department officials to support postponing the new field so the money could be used for design and engineering fixes to the interceptors, according to people familiar with the matter.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates agreed to delay the work.
A group of senators, including Sessions, privately complained to Gates about the decision. Others in Congress, including Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), suggested that O’Reilly was looking past the North Korean threat.
At a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing on May 21, 2009, Turner told O’Reilly that not deploying more interceptors would undermine “our industrial base,” adding: “There’s concerns in second- and third-tier suppliers who, reports indicate, could be without work at the end of this year.”