Iranian Threat Overwhelms U.S. Missile Defense Systems in Persian GulfBy Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, PRNE
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
MANAMA, Bahrain, July 15, 2010 - Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy
Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, attended a conference in
Manama, Bahrain on Iran's Ballistic missile capabilities and Russian
cooperation with the United States, where Ellison was invited to speak as a
panel participant. During his stay in Bahrain, Ellison also visited the U.S.
Air Defense Artillery Battalions currently stationed there. These troop
visits are part of a group of base visits that Ellison has been doing in
different parts of the country, where he is meeting members of the military
directly involved with missile defense. Ellison is one of the top lay experts
in the field of missile defense in the country. His comments regarding his
visit are outlined below:
"In the stark barren desert, where temperatures reach upwards of 120
degrees, with spiraling winds that stir the sand and dirt into a thick smog
and the oppressing humidity that rises from the nearby Persian Gulf, are two
deployed U.S. Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Battalions operating Patriot Air
and missile defense systems. These ADA Battalions are spread across four
Persian Gulf countries; Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
(UAE). There are more than 800 U.S. army soldiers, approximately 100 per
Patriot battery, who sacrifice a year of their lives in these extreme
conditions far from home.
"The soldiers are sequestered in makeshift temporary camps in desolate
surroundings without access to the local communities or cities of their host
countries. Each battalion is made up of four batteries consisting of six
launchers, two radars, a command and control unit, independent communication
hub and a portable power generator. Stationed in Kuwait and Qatar are ADA
Battalions from the 11th ADA brigade out of Fort Bliss, Texas while ADA
Battalions from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Bragg, North
Carolina are in rotation in Bahrain and the UAE.
"These two deployed ADA Battalions have the critical mission and
responsibility of protecting the airspace surrounding the majority of
deployed, land-based U.S. personnel, forces and assets in the Persian Gulf,
excluding Iraq. This includes thousands of U.S. armed service men and women
as well as tens of billions of dollars of U.S. assets located there. In
addition, this protection overlaps the host country's cities, military sites
and populations located nearby and around the U.S. bases.
"The Iranian ballistic missile threat, both capability and intent as
recognized by U.S. Central Command, consists of over a thousand deployed
missiles with the ability to release multiple munitions to the Persian Gulf
region. The size and scope of this threat drives the need for missile defense
protection to be a top priority. The Iranian ballistic missiles are located
as close as 100 miles from threatened areas; only a few short minutes of
missile flight time away.
"There are currently four basic types of deployed Iranian Ballistic
Missiles: Shahab, Sajjil, CSS-8 and the M11. These ballistic missiles have
been built on transferred technologies or were imported directly from Russia,
North Korea and China. Most of the currently deployed Iranian ballistic
missiles that face U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf states are short-range,
single-staged and liquid-fueled.
"There are eight major concerns of the U.S. missile defense systems,
which are vastly outnumbered by Iranian missiles, in the Persian Gulf that
need to be addressed in order to perform their critical mission:
-- Certification and deployment of THAAD systems in the Persian Gulf, providing the capability to intercept Iranian munitions in space rather than in altitude; with a higher chance of debris fallout. -- Increasing Aegis Ballistic missile defense capability to handle more engaged missiles then currently capable. -- Deployment of the AN/TPY-2 Forward Based X-Band Radar in Bahrain, supplying more radar to all deployed systems for defense against potential salvo rounds from Iran. -- Fully integrated and interoperable air picture for all missile defense systems in the region, eventually bringing in the Persian Gulf states and their inventories. -- Increase U.S. Army maintenance personnel and spare parts for deployed ADA Battalions; personnel and parts are currently split over two countries making the systems less then fully reliable. -- Doubling the PAC-3 missile inventory on the eight deployed PAC-3 launchers, as they are currently at half capacity. -- Increasing the number of PAC-3 launchers in each of the eight depl-oyed Patriot batteries; they are currently at one PAC-3 launcher per battery. -- Increased Force Protection around the deployed Patriot sites; some sites are completely exposed and vulnerable to local intersections and potential terrorist activities."
Barbara Maxwell of MDAA, +1-703-299-0060. NOTE TO EDITORS: Riki Ellison is available for interviews. Call Barbara Maxwell at +1-703-299-0060 to arrange.
Tags: Bahrain, July 15, Manama, Middle East, Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance