Defense News quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Patrick O’Reilly on the downed Malaysia Airlines plane near Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia:
The BUK system “fits the profile of the engagement itself,” said retired Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, former director of the US Missile Defense Agency, who spoke on a conference call with reporters on the afternoon of July 18.
“In order to operate the system you need extensive training,” he said. “This is not something that is typically manned by a paramilitary or an extremist group.” The four crewmen need to work in a synchronized fashion in order to pick up and track a target and fire a missile. For that reason, he said “the people who did this were extensively trained by either the Ukrainian Army or the Russian Army.”