>The U.S. and NATO employ ACE to some extent in Europe as well, said Hecker. But nowhere as much as Ukraine.
>“We have to make sure we can be as proficient as they are,” he said of the Ukrainians, who employ their own version of ACE every day, throwing off Russia's ability to target their aircraft with standoff weapons.
>The U.S. had more of that capability during the Cold War, when there were more bases in Europe for U.S. combat aircraft to land, receive needed maintenance and rearm. Restoring that ability is a priority, said Hecker.
>the U.S. and NATO need “a good integrated air and missile defense system,” said Hecker. “We are really trying to improve our capability there because we know that’s what we need to protect ourselves.”
>His comments also come a day after the U.S. government approved a $3.5-billion German purchase of Israeli-made Arrow 3 missile defense systems. That deal brings the kind of anti-ballistic missile capability to Western Europe that Hecker said was needed as militaries in that region increasingly look at increasing their resilience to potential ballistic missile attacks from Russia.