On Wednesday, two Americans and a British troop were killed and 14 others were injured when 30 Katyusha rockets were launched by Iranian backed Shia militias at the Taji Air Base in Iraq.
“But let me be clear, the United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests or our allies. All options are on the table as we work with our partners to bring the perpetrators to justice and maintain deterrence. As we have demonstrated in recent months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.” – Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense, at a media briefing at the Pentagon on March 12, 2020.
Forward deployed U.S. Soldiers have been injured and killed because of a lack of capacity of operational and deployed U.S. missile defense interceptor systems. There is not enough of U.S. Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) batteries, which are already integrated, operationally deployed, and effective on the bases that they are deployed in the Middle East to defeat these rocket and missile threats. U.S. early warning missile sensors, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, and command & control (C2) are rightfully deployed and prolific throughout the Middle East where U.S. forces are deployed and have saved thousands of American lives. There is no question that the missile threat to the lives of our forward based troops and allies is real, expanding and continuing to be the weapon of choice for rogue nations and their proxies to kill. Early warning, ISR, and C2 is not enough to defend American lives deployed in the Middle East.
“So a serious attack; it was a significant attack and it resulted in the death and wounding of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, sort of thing.” – General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a media briefing at the Pentagon on March 12, 2020.
“And on the first question, we get — we have alert systems. You know this, you’ve been on all the bases, you have alert systems. Incoming missiles, alarms go off. So that’s an immediate — so that is there. But on that base, with these type of rockets, no, they were not intercepted. It’s not a function of failure, there’s not a system there to defend against those type of rockets.” – General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a media briefing at the Pentagon on March 12, 2020.
The C-RAM, a 360 degree high speed gun was originally designed, developed, and deployed for U.S. Navy ships for the last layer of defense for rockets and anti-ship missiles. The United States Army, driven by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leveraged that capability with the U.S. Navy and the National Guard to have a land-based capability that has been operationally deployed and very effective over the past two decades in Iraq and Afghanistan with over 2,000 intercepts. There is a limited number of these systems and the U.S. needs significantly more air and missile defense system capacity, such as additional C-RAM systems, to fulfill the high demand and better defend our forward deployed troops. The C-RAM is a great classic business model of leveraging existing capabilities from other services to achieve the mission objective.
We don’t need to wait for the perfect solution.
MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.
MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.