President Donald Trump was greeted with a standing ovation and two addition periods of applause together with a few cheers and a red MAGA hat during his visit to the Pentagon on Thursday to address U.S. troops killed in Syria and a new missile defense shield.
Breitbart News Pentagon and national security correspondent Kristina Wong tweeted, “Folks at the Pentagon gave @realDonaldTrump a standing ovation and also two more applause. Also heard some whoops.”
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) January 18, 2019
In addition, Defense One’s correspondent Marcus Weisgerber tweeted that he saw someone hoist a red MAGA hat in the crowd: “Spotted at Pentagon: Red MAGA hat on the left.”
Spotted at Pentagon: Red MAGA hat on the left pic.twitter.com/PeQno99csZ
— Marcus Weisgerber (@MarcusReports) January 17, 2019
The president was introduced to the crowd on Day 27 of the partial government shutdown by Vice President Mike Pence. He proceeded to share his condolences for four U.S. Army troops killed by a suicide bomber in Syria.
“I want to take a moment to express my deepest condolences to the families of the brave American heroes who laid down their lives yesterday in selfless service to our nation,” Trump said.
“These are great people, great, great people. We will never forget their noble and immortal sacrifice.”
At that, POTUS then discussed the ongoing national security crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, which has prompted the deployment of a few thousand U.S. troops to assist border security personnel and help shore up barriers.
“This morning I also would like to briefly address another matter of critical national security — the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” the president said. “Without a strong border, America’s defenseless, vulnerable and unprotected.”
POTUS also discussed new plans for a space-based missile defense system that is comprised of new sensors that would be better able to track incoming hypersonic missiles, which are considered game-changers by defense experts.
As Great Power War reported:
“Space, I think, is the key to the next step of missile defense,” said a senior Trump administration official on a background call with reports previewing the president’s announcement. “A space-based layer of sensors is something we are looking at to help get early warning and tracking and discrimination of missiles when they are launched.”
Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin says that space-based sensors are needed to detect hypersonic missiles, which are difficult to detect, track, and target with existing ground-based assets.
China and Russia have developed hypersonic glide vehicles and are currently testing them. Both are expected to deploy those systems by 2020. The U.S., meanwhile, is playing catch-up but the Air Force has taken on hypersonic development as a priority.
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