(WSB photo from July)
The Missile Defense Agency just sent word that the SBX is leaving Harbor Island tomorrow, 3 months and 10 days after its late-night arrival drew crowds to West Seattle shores. We’re checking on an estimated time – meantime, here’s the announcement:
The Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) will depart August 20th from Seattle, Washington where it has been undergoing scheduled maintenance and planned upgrades at Vigor Shipyards since May. The work has taken about three months to complete and was consistent with the normal work accomplished at Vigor for other government and commercial vessels.
The SBX is one of the sensors for our nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Its mission is to identify ballistic missile threats to our nation and to relay that information to the command and control center for missile defense.
A Naval Vessel Protection Zone, applicable to government vessels in transit and undergoing maintenance at Vigor Shipyards, will be applied to SBX as it departs. The US Coast Guard will be assisting with the NVPZ.
One month ago today, the seagoing radar dome drew crowds again as it left Vigor for a few hours so an oil-drilling ship could be moved in:
(July photo by Debra Herbst)
The SBX has been based in Alaska, though there’s no official word if it’s headed there next.