Around 100 U.S. military personnel will be deployed to Guam with THAAD defence missile system 080413

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Defence & Security News - United States

 
 
Monday, April 8, 2013, 09:43 PM
 
Around 100 U.S. military personnel will be deployed to Guam with THAAD defence missile system.
Around 100 Army personnel of United States will be deployed to Guam Pacific island territory in coming weeks as the Pentagon moves one of its THAAD missile defense systems designed to knock down hostile targets in the upper atmosphere.
     
Around 100 Army personnel of United States will be deployed to Guam Pacific island territory in coming weeks as the Pentagon moves one of its THAAD missile defense systems designed to knock down hostile targets in the upper atmosphere.
The
THAAD missile system is designed to intercept short- and medium range ballistic missiles.
     

The move comes as North Korea in the past several weeks has threatened to fire nuclear missiles at the United States and claimed it had scrapped the 1953 armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War. But the Army won't divulge exactly when the ground-based Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and its 95-person crew based in Fort Bliss, Texas, will arrive here because of security reasons, said Lt. Col. Margaret Kageleiry, an Army public information officer.

"We don't know the duration of the deployment, but what we do know is that they are ready," Army Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, commander at Fort Bliss, said during a Texas press conference. "They are trained, they are ready, and they will do the mission."

The THAAD system being deployed to Guam will work in tandem with other missile defense-systems in the region, Pittard said. The Aegis ballistic missile defense system enables ships to intercept missiles after launching. The Phased Array Tracking Intercept of Target system, known as a Patriot missile, provides defense at a higher altitude. The THAAD system shoots down ballistic missiles as they are aiming at their target.

In a 2012 report, the National Research Council of the National Academies said a THAAD system would be the one best suited to protect military bases on Guam and in Japan from a North Korean attack.

Last week South Korean officials said North Korea moved a missile with considerable range to its east coast, which Voice of America said likely is a BM-25 Musudan (No-dong-B) rocket capable of carrying a 1.2 ton bomb.

The Musudan's range is a little less than 2,000 miles but potentially could be as much as 2,500 miles, according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington. That's enough firepower to reach Japan and also could make a target of Guam, a 209-square-mile island with about the same area as Huntsville, Ala. Guam, along with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands about 120 miles to the northwest, is the farthest west of the U.S. territories though other Pacific countries such as Japan and South Korea have U.S. military bases.

 

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