Dear Members and Friends,
Stationed at Fort Bliss just across the Rio Grande from Mexico, off the foothills of El Paso, Texas, is the United States Army’s newest elite fighting force that can defend entire countries and regions from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. It is a one of kind force that requires the skills of the U.S. Army’s best and brightest. A team of soldiers that will grow to a little over a 115 men and women that operate the Delta-2 Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) Battery which is attached to the 11th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade came into existence last week as the newest member and force of the U.S. Army’s missile defense team. The Delta-2 Battery is also the newest addition and member of our nation’s joint team of missile defense systems and capabilities across our military services.
The Delta-2 Force joins two other THAAD Batteries stationed at Fort Bliss to form the only capability in the world that can search, track, and destroy ballistic missiles both in the domains of the upper atmosphere and lower space. The THAAD capability provides a spatial defense between the U.S. Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability and the U.S. Army’s Patriot capability that has not existed. THAAD provides completion for a layered and robust regional defense of multiple intercept shots at three different layers that are required to defend against ballistic missiles carrying nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in giving an extremely high probability of success. Alpha-2 and Alpha-4, the latter of which just achieved THAAD’s 10th straight success last week in taking out a medium range ballistic missile while working with Aegis BMD and Patriot in this demonstration had simultaneous successes are the other existing THAAD batteries.
These THAAD batteries can track, engage, and destroy multiple incoming missile salvos. The THAAD is made up of approximately nine launchers, carrying eight 21 foot 2,341 pound interceptors on each launcher, a 1.3 megawatt powered X-Band Radar, four generators to produce that power, cooling and electronics for the radar, a fire control vehicle of the system, a battery command post and communications as well as the support required for the battery which all can be transported on Air Force C-17 transport planes anywhere in the world to defend and protect entire countries, deter potential conflict, and prevent war.
Today’s U.S. force of three THAAD Batteries allows flexibility to deploy anywhere in the world when needed or provide one permanent rotating deployment in a specific region of the world. The THAAD force is highly wanted and desired from each of the four star U.S. Combatant Commanders of USCENTCOM for the Middle East, USPACOM for the Pacific, and USEUCOM for Europe and Israel. The demand for a minimum requirement of nine THAAD Batteries to have permanent rotations in three regions is clear and apparent as is an additional testing THAAD Battery to further allow for evolution and development of the system. It is also of significance that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Arabian Gulf is acquiring THAAD and other nations in the world are looking to follow.
MDAA had the honor to meet and recognize the new Delta-2 Force THAAD team and members of the Alpha-2 and Alpha-4 THAAD Batteries earlier this week in El Paso, Texas. On behalf of all our members, friends, and the American public, we welcome the newest member of the missile defense team, the Delta-2 Force and sincerely appreciate their selfless service in making our nation and world safe.