U.S. THAAD Missile Defense Deployment Completed In Israel


IDF officials announced that the American THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system went operational on Monday, April 1, 2019. 250 US servicemen arrived last month, members of EUCOM (US European Command) to take part in the joint drill between the US and Israel in advance of the system going live.

In March, they ran many scenarios to prepare forces for the system, which is now integrated into the Air Force’s defense capabilities.

“The deployment is another step in strengthening long-term relations and towards strengthening close cooperation between the two countries” read the IDF statement.

US military personnel from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas, EUCOM were part of the training last month, another aspect of increasing cooperation between the allied militaries.

According to a statement from Brigadier-General Ran Kochav, commander of Israel’s Aerial Defense Division, “this system is integrated into the Arrow and brings complementary capabilities along with it”.

Israel is Baruch Hashem armed with an array of short, medium and long-range missile defense systems, including the Iron Dome used against rocket fire from Gaza (short-range attacks), the Arrow system which is used against missiles outside of the earth’s atmosphere and David Sling defense system, previously known as Magic Wand, which is used against medium-to-long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired at ranges from 40km (25 miles) to 300km (186 miles).

Deputy Commander of the US Army in Europe, Major-General Andrew J. Rowling congratulated the troops for their “exceptional performance” last month, during the training drills and the fact they were able to get the system up-and-running on the other side of the world and integrated into the IAF defense systems in such a short time.

Last month, as the system was being set up during training, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented.

“Deployment of the American anti-missile system in Israel is additional testimony to the commitment of the US to the security of Israel.

“The American THAAD system is considered one of the most advanced systems in the world, and together with our defensive systems we are even stronger in order to deal with near and distant threats from throughout the Middle East.

“The bond between the US and Israel has never been stronger. I welcome the holding of this joint exercise.”

In the accompanying photo, we see PM Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman observing training on the THAAD.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)