Radar site celebrates 10 years in Japan

By Jason B. Cutshaw (SMDC/ARSTRAT)October 19, 2016

Japanese dignitaries, international military leaders, Warfighters and civilians gather to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Shariki Communications Site in Japan Oct. 17. The site, an AN/TPY-2 FBM radar, operated by the 10th Missile Defense Batter... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SHARIKI, Japan -- After a decade on the job, one radar site continues to be a beacon of peace and stability in a sometimes unstable region.

Japanese dignitaries, international military leaders, Warfighters and civilians gathered on the northern edge of the Japanese island of Honshu to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first operational Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control Model 2, or AN/TPY-2, forward-based mode, or FBM, radar located at the Shariki Communications Site during a ceremony Oct. 17.

The AN/TPY-2 FBM radar, operated by the 10th Missile Defense Battery, was activated on Sept. 26, 2006, and the Shariki site became the first military installation to open in Japan since the end of World War II.

"We received a presidential directive to activate the site as part of a ballistic missile defense system," said Lorenzo Mack,acting deputy director, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Future Warfare Center. "In February 2006, we deployed the radar and achieved partial mission capability in September 2006 and that led to full mission capability shortly thereafter. This system is part of the SMDC level-one priority to protect the homeland.

"I am very proud of this system," he added. "To see this started in 2006 and see the contributions it makes in terms of indications and warnings to the homeland, as well as our regional allies, is extremely gratifying."

The FBM radar acts as a forward-based sensor for the system, detecting ballistic missiles early in their flight and providing precise tracking information for use by the system. It is a transportable X-band, high-resolution, phased-array radar designed for ballistic missile defense.

Vice Adm. James D. Syring, director, Missile Defense Agency, talked about the importance of the FBM, which began as an MDA asset.

"It is an honor to be here today to be a part of this historic moment and be able to say we commemorate 10 years of service to one of the most powerful missile defense radars that we have in the world," Syring said. "We are not just recognizing the radar, but we are recognizing the joint force and the people who operate the radar and the importance of the cooperation we have in the surrounding communities."

The 10th MDB Soldiers in Shariki fall under the command and control of Brig. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, commanding general, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, or AAMDC, located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The battery is nicknamed the "Samurai Battery" and provides long-range detection, classification and tracking of ballistic missile threats in support of homeland defense as well as the Pacific theater of operations.

"The mission would not have been possible without outstanding support from both the Missile Defense Agency and from (USASMDC/ARSTRAT)," Gainey said. "The continued close cooperation between the U.S. and Japanese governments on ballistic missile defense reflects our joint commitment to this alliance and to the promotion of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. The Soldiers, NCOs, officers and contractors, both past and present, of the 10th Missile Defense Battery should be very proud of their contributions here in Shariki."

Gainey said the placement of the AN/TPY-2 radar in Shariki was a mutual decision by Japan and the U.S., in response to North Korean provocations. He added that the joint decision was an effort to strengthen the defense of Japan as well as the United States homeland.

"For more than 50 years, our alliance has been the foundation of peace and security in Northeast Asia and the cornerstone for U.S. engagement in the region," Gainey said. "There is no better demonstration of America's commitment to the Pacific Region's security than the cooperation between the 94th Army Air Missile Defense Command and our Japanese partners in this mission. A mission, which is solidly grounded, not only with cutting edge technologies and capabilities, but with shared values and common security concerns."

Besides the site in Japan, SMDC Soldiers also staff AN/TPY-2 FBM radar batteries in Turkey, Israel and U.S. Central Command regions. These FBM radars operate nonstop, supporting both homeland and regional missile defense by providing crucial tracking information to the Army's ballistic missile defense, or BMD, systems.

"Today's event symbolizes the partnership SMDC has had with MDA and with the 94th AAMDC which has supported mission execution excellence at Shariki and the first FBM site," said Col. Matthew Tedesco, director, SMDC's Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager for Global Ballistic Missile Defense. "The mission has grown from an MDA-led event, where MDA manned the sites and executed the mission, to an Army-led mission."

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