U.S. Sending Warship to Spain to Support NATO Missile Shield

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 31, 2014, 7:44 a.m.

A U.S. war­ship is ready­ing to de­part for Spain on Fri­day in ac­cord­ance with NATO plans to strengthen bal­list­ic-mis­sile de­fenses in Europe.

The USS Don­ald Cook will travel to its new home port of Rota, Spain, as part of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “phased ad­apt­ive ap­proach” for European mis­sile de­fense. Three oth­er Ar­leigh Burke-class guided-mis­sile des­troy­ers are to be de­ployed to Rota with­in the next two years, the Pentagon said in a press re­lease.

“The U.S. has a his­tor­ic­ally strong part­ner­ship with Spain, and the strength of that re­la­tion­ship is ex­em­pli­fied today as the first of four U.S. Navy des­troy­ers de­parts for Rota, Spain,” Navy Sec­ret­ary Ray Mabus said in provided com­ments.  “Per­man­ently for­ward-de­ploy­ing four ships in Rota will en­able us to be in the right place, not just at the right time, but all the time.”

The oth­er three des­troy­ers tasked for field­ing in Spain are the USS Ross, USS Port­er and USS Car­ney. All of the ships are to be equipped with Ae­gis sys­tems and Stand­ard Mis­sile 3 Block 1B in­ter­cept­ors de­signed to de­feat short- and me­di­um-range bal­list­ic mis­sile threats.

The United States is in the second of three planned phases for de­ploy­ing an­ti­mis­sile as­sets in Europe. The ini­tial stage, com­pleted in 2012, in­volved the field­ing of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Tur­key and the stand­ing up of a com­mand-and-con­trol cen­ter in Ger­many. The U.S. mil­it­ary next plans to de­ploy more-cap­able Stand­ard Mis­sile 3 in­ter­cept­ors in Ro­mania in 2015 and in Po­land in 2018.

The stated pur­pose of the NATO mis­sile shield is to guard against po­ten­tial at­tacks launched from the Middle East, though Rus­sia is con­cerned there may be an ul­teri­or motive that could ef­fect­ively weak­en its nuc­le­ar-de­terrent force.

In a Thursday vis­it to Po­land, U.S. De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel met with the coun­try’s top for­eign policy and de­fense lead­ers and prom­ised to de­ploy SM-3 in­ter­cept­ors at a base near the Balt­ic Sea coast in Redziko­wo.

“The United States is firmly com­mit­ted to de­ploy­ing a U.S. mis­sile de­fense sys­tem to Po­land,” Hagel was quoted in a Pentagon press story as say­ing in Warsaw. “We look for­ward to this sys­tem com­ing on­line in 2018 as part of phase three of the European Phased Ad­apt­ive Ap­proach.”

Wash­ing­ton twice be­fore dis­ap­poin­ted Warsaw by go­ing back on agree­ments to field in­ter­cept­ors in Po­land. The first time was in 2009 when the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion threw out a Bush-era plan to field 10 Ground Based In­ter­cept­ors in the coun­try. The second in­stance was in 2013 when the Pentagon can­celed plans to de­vel­op and field in Redziko­wo the Stand­ard Mis­sile 3 Block 2B, which was en­vi­sioned as hav­ing a lim­ited cap­ab­il­ity to de­feat stra­tegic mis­siles.

Partly in re­sponse to those U.S. de­cisions, Po­land is pur­su­ing its own air de­fense sys­tem, which will be linked to the broad­er NATO shield but will have a fo­cus on pro­tect­ing against pos­sible lower-alti­tude mis­sile at­tacks. Rus­sia has re­peatedly threatened to field tac­tic­al Iskander bal­list­ic mis­siles in its Ka­lin­in­grad ex­clave, which bor­ders Pol­ish ter­rit­ory, if its con­cerns about the NATO mis­sile shield are not ad­dressed.

Warsaw has out­lined plans to spend as much as $8.4 bil­lion to build its mis­sile de­fense sys­tem and U.S. firms are eager to win some of those con­tracts.

“As Po­land ex­plores op­tions for its own mis­sile-de­fense cap­ab­il­it­ies, there is an un­mis­tak­able op­por­tun­ity for us both to forge even closer co­oper­a­tion in this area, lever­aging cut­ting-edge tech­no­logy and en­hanced NATO cap­ab­il­ity,” Hagel said.

What We're Following See More »
WITH LIVE BLOGGING
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
1 days ago
STAFF PICKS

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Source:
SOUND LEVEL AFFECTED
Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Source:
TRUMP VS. CHEFS
Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Source:
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
1 days ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
×