Washington D.C. – August 19, 2015 –The United States will likely withdraw its Patriot missile defense battery from Jordan in the near future, said Riki Ellison, Chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance in a statement yesterday. The U.S. announced earlier this week that it would withdraw two Patriot missile battalions from Turkey by October, citing a diminished ballistic missile threat emanating from neighboring Syria.
This same assessment probably extends to the Scud missile threat to Jordan, according to Ellison, stating that the “requirement for having an Army missile defense battery deployed in Jordan…is also likely removed, with a pending decision for withdrawal of these forces forthcoming.”
A single U.S. Patriot battery, consisting of 4-6 individual launchers and around 150 U.S. Soldiers has been on station in Jordan since the summer of 2013. Originally deployed to take part in joint exercises, the battery has remained to provide defense against air and missile threats emanating from the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Withdrawing these forces will reduce some of the intense strain on the U.S. Army’s limited number or Patriot units. Currently, 60% of U.S. Army’s Patriot units are forward deployed, said Ellison. This is nearly twice normal U.S. Army doctrine which mandates a deployment ratio of 33%, with the other two thirds either recuperating or preparing for deployment. The U.S. Army’s Air Defense Artillery Branch has been operating “at or above 60% deployment ratio for more than a decade.”
The high rate of deployment has also hindered the Army’s ability to execute much needed hardware and software upgrades to its Patriot equipment, including incorporation of the MSE interceptor, implementation of integrated command and control systems, and radar enhancements.
Read MDAA’s full statement here.