False Missile Warning

According to FoxNews there was a false missile warning put out by the State of HI today and I want everyone to know how these matters are handled. For many years in the underground facility known as the North American Aerospace Defense Command Operations Center I worked as an Attack Warning Officer in a crew responsible for putting out an Attack Warning Message to over 2,400 state and local warning points if the Commander in Chief, NORAD, declared an Air Defense Emergency. There is a vast network of radars snd satellites involved in making such a decision with the National Command Authority so one state would not be making such a decision by itself. The state and local warning points would pass the Attack Warning Message put out by us on the dedicated voice network knowns as NAWAS. An interesting fact is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency moved the Attack Warning Crews out of the NORAD facility to their own facility in Virginia in 1994. That was just before I retired in 1995. The mission, however, remains the same as far as I know.

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4 comments on “False Missile Warning

  1. I don’t want to leave the impression that no worries exist should an attack warning be disseminated. The only defense is to prevent the attack in the first place. We used to say that the only good place to be in such situations is elsewhere. Nuclear warfare is the best example I can think of whereby one can say it’s man’s inhumanity to man. The effects of such warfare are too terrible to behold.

  2. [The feds (military or civilian) nothing to do with it]

    Ballistic missile warning sent in error by Hawaii authorities

    Jolyn Rosa

    HONOLULU (Reuters) – An emergency alert was sent mistakenly on Saturday to Hawaii’s residents warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack when an employee at the state emergency management agency pushed the “wrong button,” Hawaii’s governor said.

    State officials and the U.S. military’s Pacific Command confirmed that there was no actual threat to the state. But for more than a half hour, before the agency retracted the warning, panicked Hawaiians scrambled to find shelter.


    Governor David Ige, who apologized for the mistake, said in televised remarks that the alert was sent during a employee shift change at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Vern Miyagi, the agency’s administrator, called it “human error.”

    “It was a procedure that occurs at the change of shift where they go through to make sure that the system, that it’s working. And an employee pushed the wrong button,” the Democratic governor said, adding that such shift changes occur three times a day every day of the year.

    The alert, sent to mobile phones and aired on television and radio shortly after 8 a.m., was issued amid high international tensions over North Korea’s development of ballistic nuclear weapons.

    “I was awakened by the alert like everyone else here in the state of Hawaii. It was unfortunate and regrettable. We will be looking at how we can improve the procedures so it doesn’t happen again,” Ige added.

    Miyagi said, “It was an inadvertent mistake. The change of shift is about three people. That should have been caught. … It should not have happened.”

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which has jurisdiction over the emergency alert system, announced it was initiating a full investigation. Earlier this week, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the agency would vote at its January meeting to enhance the effectiveness of wireless emergency alerts, which have been in place since 2012.

  3. Despite the fact that Trump-Haters are already teeing off on the President for this mistaken Alert message, the fact remains that it will do some good if it causes the government to consider the entire subject of what to do in the event of a credible nuclear attack against our country. My opinion is that the subject has not been given the attention it deserves since the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  4. The question is not whether we can warn the civil population of an impending missile attack but what can be done, if anything, to defend against it. We pride ourselves of having the best assembled brain-power in the universe but it has never been asked to focus on this question.

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