Home > Uncategorized > Stop NATO news: January 7, 2012

Stop NATO news: January 7, 2012

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Europe: U.S. Army Launches First Command-Level Missile Defense Unit

Interceptor Missiles: U.S. Guided Missile Warship Deploys To Mediterranean

Missile Radar: Turkish Police Breaks Up Anti-NATO Protest

Pentagon Continues To Rebuff Russia Over European Missile Shield

Strait Of Hormuz: Closer And Closer To War

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Europe: U.S. Army Launches First Command-Level Missile Defense Unit

http://www.stripes.com/u-s-army-command-level-air-and-missile-defense-unit-established-in-europe-1.165227

Stars and Stripes
January 5, 2012

U.S. Army command-level air and missile defense unit established in Europe
By Jennifer Svan

-In September, Turkey agreed to host a U.S. early-warning missile defense radar, according to NATO and U.S. officials.
After the ceremony, Boozer said he couldn’t disclose the radar station’s location.
“We’ve got a radar site that we’ve had in Israel and there’s another radar site going on now, but I can’t get into the details,” he said.

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany: The U.S. Army has established what it says is its first command-level air and missile defense unit based in Europe.

“This unit gives us the additional capability and capacity to oversee and assist with execution and coordination of ballistic missile defense from the European theater,” said Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer Sr., U.S. Army Europe deputy commander and chief of staff, said of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.

The 357th Air and Missile Defense Detachment was redesignated in October, but the unit’s soldiers symbolically ushered in the new mission Thursday with a casing of the old unit’s flag and the uncasing of the 10th AAMDC’s colors; and with the help of Velcro, they attached in near unison the new unit patch on their uniforms.

The unit is expected to grow from 125 to about 150 soldiers by February, officials said, as it brings in more experts who will play a vital role in the planning and execution of President Barack Obama’s “phased adaptive approach” to missile defense, aimed at deterring potential missile strikes from Iran.

“Ballistic missile defense, no matter where they (missiles) come from, is critical to both European allies and the United States, and this is the unit that does it for us,” said Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, USAREUR commander, after the ceremony. Standing up the 10th AAMCD is USAREUR’s way of “evolving to meet the current threats in today’s environment,” he said.

In an earlier interview, the 10th AAMDC commander, Army Col. Stephen J. Richmond, said the unit was formed in response to a growing ballistic missile threat to Europe originating from the Middle East.

“It’s absolutely essential that as the threats continue to expand, the EUCOM (area of operation) have this capability,” he said.

The need for a joint-service and coalition response to missile defense is the reason that the former air and missile defense detachment became a command-level unit, Richmond said.

Richmond and other soldiers from his unit, in conjunction with the other services, will advise the theater’s missile defense decision-makers, said Lt. Col. Ben Ogden, 10th AAMDC chief of staff, and could offer recommendations, for example, on how to defend certain assets or areas from a ballistic missile attack.

“Missile defense is a joint operation. Every service has a part,” he said.

The 10th AAMDC oversees USAREUR’s one remaining Patriot unit, the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, also based at Rhine Ordnance Barracks. The 10th AAMDC also assists with the manning of radars and managing missile defense sensors, Boozer said.

“Right now, soldiers are up to their necks in snow, building a shield for Europe on a remote mountain top,” Boozer said in remarks at the ceremony, without elaborating.

In September, Turkey agreed to host a U.S. early-warning missile defense radar, according to NATO and U.S. officials.

After the ceremony, Boozer said he couldn’t disclose the radar station’s location.

“We’ve got a radar site that we’ve had in Israel and there’s another radar site going on now, but I can’t get into the details,” he said.

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Interceptor Missiles: U.S. Guided Missile Warship Deploys To Mediterranean

http://hamptonroads.com/2012/01/photos-guided-missile-cruiser-vella-gulf-deploys

The Virginian-Pilot
January 4, 2012

Guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf deploys
By Stephen M. Katz

The guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf deployed from Norfolk Naval Station on Tuesday.

More than 300 sailors are on board. The ship is headed to the Mediterranean Sea and will relieve the destroyer Ramage, currently on patrol in the region.

The Vella Gulf is commanded by Capt. Mark W. Harris. The ship will support the ballistic missile defense of Europe during deployment.

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Missile Radar: Turkish Police Breaks Up Anti-NATO Protest

http://presstv.com/detail/219692.html

Press TV
January 6, 2012

Turkey police break up anti-NATO rally

Turkish police have broken up a protest gathering against Ankara’s plan to host a NATO missile system in the country, Press TV reports.

Police dispersed scores of anti-NATO activists in the southern city of Adana on Friday as they were setting up tents to stage a three-day hunger strike to show their opposition to the NATO missile system that will be established in the eastern province of Malatya.

The activists shouted anti-US slogans and called for an ”independent Turkey,” Press TV’s Ankara correspondent reported.

”The US, get out. This is our country and today we will begin a three-day hunger strike in the tents we will establish,” an activist said.

Another activist said that “today we are here to prevent the establishment of the missile shield and to call for an independent Turkey.”

Turkish police said the activists were not allowed to set up the tents to stage a hunger strike. Several activists who resisted police orders were detained.

Ankara announced in September that it had agreed to the deployment of the X-Band radar, which is an early warning radar, on its territory as part of NATO’s missile defense system and according to Turkish media the system will be operational within weeks.

The decision has sparked several protest rallies in Turkey. Protesters say that the system threatens the region’s security and economy and that Ankara agreed to the plan under pressure from the US.

Opposition parties in Turkey have also called on the government to reject the planned deployment which they say is aimed at protecting Israel.

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Pentagon Continues To Rebuff Russia Over European Missile Shield

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/06/63471632.html

Itar-Tass/Voice of Russia
January 6, 2012

ABM dialogue to go on – Vershbow

In an interview for the BNS Friday, US Assistant Defense Secretary Alexander Vershbow said the US and NATO will continue their dialogue with Russia about missile defence…

In the meantime, his country continues to decline Russian requests for binding guarantees that no American or NATO missile defence system based on European soil will compromise Russia’s deterrence capability.

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Strait Of Hormuz: Closer And Closer To War

http://rt.com/news/iran-us-israel-exercises-305/

RT
January 6, 2012

Strait of Hormuz powder keg: US-Israel to meet Great Prophet?

With tensions around the Strait of Hormuz sky-high, Iranian plans to conduct the country’s “greatest naval war games” could coincide with joint US-Israeli exercises in the Persian Gulf. With both sides taking positions, could a real battle be looming?

­Hopefully the massive exercises will remain just that. But with three armies on the playing board, one spark could be enough to ignite an all-out war.

Iran, which recently held a 10-day naval exercise near the Strait of Hormuz to demonstrate its military prowess, is now planning new, ‘massive’ naval drills codenamed The Great Prophet.

The drills will be carried out by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard, which has its own air, naval and ground forces separate from those of the regular military.

On Thursday, the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s naval commander, Admiral Ali Fadavi, as saying the next round of war games would be “different” from previous ones, AP reports.

However, on the same day, an Israeli military spokesman speaking under condition of anonymity said his country was gearing up for the largest joint missile defense exercise ever held with the United States.

The drill, called “Austere Challenge 12,” is scheduled to take place in the upcoming weeks. Its primary purpose is to test multiple Israeli and US air defense systems, especially the “Arrow” system, which the country specifically developed with help from the US to intercept Iranian missiles.
Perhaps more alarmingly to the Iranian leadership, thousands of US troops will be deployed to Israel in support of the drill.

While the Israeli military claims the latest exercises are unconnected with recent events, Martin Van Creveld, a military historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the drill would be used to gain leverage over Iran.

“Defending against an attack is not something that you improvise from today to tomorrow. It’s something you have to prepare, you have to rehearse… This, among other things, is an exercise to show Iran, the people in Tehran, that Israel and the United States are ready to counterattack,” AP cites him as saying.

But Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council in Washington told RT the actions of America and Israel are not merely preventative.

“We’re getting closer and closer to war with Iran. Anybody who argues that this extraordinary confluence of events – the planned exercises by the US and Israel, the exercises that Iran was doing in the Persian Gulf, we have sanctions in place with no diplomacy – the only way that that ends is through confrontation,” he said. 

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