Philip E. Coyle III is a Senior Advisor to the President of the Center for Defense Information and an independent defense consultant. He is a recognized expert on U.S. and worldwide military research, development and testing, on operational military matters, and on national security policy and defense spending.
In 2005, Mr. Coyle served on the nine-member Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission, appointed by President George W. Bush and nominated by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Commission was responsible for determining those U.S. military bases and facilities to be closed or realigned beginning in late 2005.
Beginning in late 2004, Mr. Coyle served on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Base Support and Retention Council, from which he resigned to serve on the President's Commission.
From September 1994 through January 2001, Mr. Coyle was Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, in the Department of Defense, and is the longest serving Director in the 20-year history of the Office. In this capacity, he was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on test and evaluation in the DOD.
At the DOD, Mr. Coyle's responsibilities included stewardship of the Major Range and Test Facility Bases of the DOD, including the large test ranges and test centers which the DOD operates from Maryland and Florida to California and Hawaii.
As Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Mr. Coyle had responsibility for overseeing the test and evaluation of over 200 major defense acquisition systems. This included reporting to the Secretary of Defense and to Congress on the adequacy of the DOD testing programs, and on the results from those testing programs. Mr. Coyle was called upon regularly to testify before Congress and to brief Congressional staff on the status of major defense acquisition programs.
Mr. Coyle has 40 years experience in research, development, and testing matters. From 1959 to 1979, and again from 1981 to 1993, Mr. Coyle worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. From 1987 to 1993, he served as Laboratory Associate Director and Deputy to the Laboratory Director. In recognition of his 33 years service to the Laboratory and to the University of California, the University named Mr. Coyle Laboratory Associate Director Emeritus.
During the Carter Administration, Mr. Coyle served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs in the Department of Energy (DOE). In this capacity he had oversight responsibility for the nuclear weapons testing programs of the Department.
Aviation Week Magazine named Mr. Coyle as one of its Laurels honorees for the year 2000, a select group of people recognized for outstanding contributions in aerospace.
In September 2000 the International Test and Evaluation Association awarded Mr. Coyle the Allan R. Matthews Award, its highest award, for his contributions to the management and technology of test and evaluation.
In March 2001, Mr. Coyle received the Hollis Award from the National Defense Industrial Association for his lifelong achievement in defense test and evaluation.
Mr. Coyle was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal by Secretary Perry, and the Bronze Palm of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal by Secretary Cohen.
Mr. Coyle graduated from Dartmouth College with an MS in Mechanical Engineering (1957) and a BA (1956). His wife, Dr. Martha Krebs, was Assistant Secretary of Energy and Director of the Office of Science from 1993 to 2000, and was the founding Director of the new California NanoSystems Institute, a research partnership between UCLA and U.C. Santa Barbara. In June, 2005, she joined the California Energy Commission as Deputy Director. They have four grown children and five grandchildren, and live in Sacramento, CA.
Ask McCain and Obama about missile defense
ASK THIS | September 10, 2008
Pentagon plans for establishing missile defenses in Europe have caused a serious strain in U.S./Russian relations not seen since the Cold War. Dealing with this controversial project will be the most pressing item on the missile defense agenda for the next U.S. president. And that’s only one problem with the ineffective, costly Star Wars shield.
Questions for McCain and Obama on Russia and NATO
ASK THIS | September 05, 2008
The plot of the Georgia-Russia-U.S. situation, in which all participants have been overreaching, could have been lifted from the 1959 movie, 'The Mouse that Roared.' Except the movie, a Cold War satire, was funny and the real-world situation is a very serious mess.
A B-52 with six armed nuclear missiles flew over the U.S. for 3-1/2 hours. What’s the story here?
ASK THIS | September 09, 2007
Defense expert Philip Coyle wants to know why these weapons were being moved in the first place, why they were sent to Barksdale Air Force Base, how long it was before the error was discovered and how many other such errors have there been. He points out that except in all-out nuclear war, nuclear weapons are supposed to be transported as cargo in special, secure aircraft or in trucks—not in operational aircraft.
A game of European missile shield 'Let's Pretend'
ASK THIS | June 08, 2007
One result of Putin’s proposals for an installation in Azerbaijan – whether workable or not – may be to derail Bush’s plans until he leaves office.
The Chinese satellite destruction: What's next?
ASK THIS | February 09, 2007
The militarization of space has already happened but weaponization of space hasn't. Pentagon planners have long talked of dominating space; did the Chinese play into their hands?
What about the most recent missile defense test?
COMMENTARY | September 11, 2006
Labeled a ‘total success’ by the Pentagon general in charge, the Sept. 1 flight intercept was a real accomplishment. But it was the simplest test in the 10-year history of the program and did not reflect a real-world situation. Expert Phil Coyle says it is up to the press to explain this complicated, confusing story.
Our missile defense system is seen as an expensive bluff
COMMENTARY | July 12, 2006
Which is Bush’s position: A)Our missile defense system can now defend the U.S., or B)It’s too new to predict success, or C)It has a reasonable chance of knocking out anything North Korea shoots at us? If you chose all three you would be correct; those are the answers Bush gave on July 6 and 7. And if you said the system flat out doesn’t work, you’d also be correct.
Missile defense costs $10 billion a year. What do we get for that?
ASK THIS | January 24, 2006
Expert Philip Coyle notes that successes have been only under artificial circumstances and that in the two most recent tests interceptors didn’t even get off the ground; he urges Congress and the press to question the system.
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