Dear Members and Friends,
Kaiserslautern, Germany is home to the United States Army’s 357th Air & Missile Defense Detachment (357 AMD-D) and the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery (5-7 ADA). They provide missile and air defense for the United States European Command (EUCOM), covering Europe, Israel and Turkey.
Iran is the most pressing missile threat to Europe, Israel, Turkey and the U.S. forward operating bases located there. Israel is one of the most targeted countries in the world from ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and rockets. Established and continued proliferation of ballistic missiles from countries and entities in the Middle East and Africa are of concern to Europe, Israel and Turkey.
Kaiserslautern is home to the six Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Batteries of the 5-7 ADA. One of four firing Batteries are on a continual training deployment rotation to Poland through 2012. The remaining two batteries handle the command and service for the battalion. The critical service and support battery of the 5-7 ADA that has to upkeep all of the parts, technologies and vehicles was recognized as being the best Army-wide. The most recent upgrades to the Patriot system have just been given to the 5-7 ADA due to the importance of their mission.
Every two years, the entire 5-7 ADA is deployed for a major training exercise to positions in Israel, protecting major population centers in coordination with the U.S. Aegis BMD ships and Israel missile defense assets.
In addition to providing protection for Europe, Turkey, Israel, the 7th U.S. Army and the 3rd Air Force, the 5-7 ADA is responsible for the operation of the U.S. forward based AN/TPY-2 radar in Israel. The 5-7 ADA will also be in charge of the anticipated deployment of another AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey or Bulgaria this year, part of Phase I of President Obama’s Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA). The air and missile defense protection of these radars and future land based PAA assets such as the Aegis Ashore due in Romania in 2015 and Poland in 2018 will fall under the responsibility of the 357th AMD-D.
The Terminal High Attitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which can enhance air and missile defense missions, has not yet been deployed and is already in high demand from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). The demand for THAAD will be similar coming from EUCOM and if deployed would be assigned to the 357 AMD-D. In addition, the 357th and the 32nd AAMDC in CENTCOM would have to support the needs of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which does not have an air and missile defense unit assigned to it
This is without a doubt a very challenging, important and comprehensive mission for just one Air Defense Artillery Battalion, consisting of only six batteries, to perform and for the 357th AMD-D to command. More troops, missiles and an additional battalion are certainly needed.
A Patriot Battery is designed, tested and proven to seek and destroy, through direct impact, short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, with some capability for faster missiles, inside the earth’s atmosphere defending a small, high value area. The Patriot Battery is a completely independent self operating system that can be deployed anywhere in the world within days. The battery includes launchers, missiles, radar, fire control unit, power generator, communications center, command tent and support vehicles.
It is with great respect and deep appreciation for the men and women of the 357th AMD-D and the 5-7 ADA for what they do for our nation in protecting and defending over 100,000 armed forces in Europe and the people of Israel, Turkey and Europe.
MDAA was honored to spend time with these amazing troops in Kaiserslautern, Germany, known as K-Town.