U.S. Army Europe air defense Soldiers deploying to support NATO operation in Turkey
Air defense Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment from Fort Sill, Okla., stand by one of the battalion's Patriot missile batteries in Gaziantep, Turkey, Feb. 4, 2013. The unit, which has been in Turkey for nearly a year as part of NATO's augmentation of Turkish missile defense, will be replaced in the coming weeks by Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 7th ADA Regiment, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Patriot batteries from NATO members Germany and the Netherlands are taking part in the operation as well, at separate locations in Turkey.

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Two Patriot missile batteries from U.S. Army Europe's 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command are deploying as part of the extension of a NATO operation providing missile defense support for Turkey.

The batteries from the 10th AAMDC's 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, will replace the 3rd Battalion, 2nd ADA from Fort Sill, Okla., which has been in Turkey since last December augmenting the air defense capabilities of the NATO ally.

The Turkish government recently requested an extension of the original Patriot mission which began last January, and is designed to protect Turkish citizens from potential ballistic missile threats from Syria.

Approximately 300 Soldiers assigned to the 5-7th ADA will take part in the operation near the city of Gaziantep. The battalion, expected to be deployed for a year, joins Patriot batteries from NATO allies Germany and the Netherlands which are deployed to separate locations in southern Turkey.

The deploying Soldiers are expected to complete their handover from the Stateside batteries and fully assume the ballistic missile defense mission in mid-December.

Soldiers from the 5-7th have frequently partnered with Dutch, German and Polish air defense forces on training exercises in recent years.

Page last updated Tue November 19th, 2013 at 00:00