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

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 »
$300 SAVINGS CARD
Under Pressure, EpiPen Maker Drops Prices
5 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Amid public outcry and the threat of investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mylan has agreed to effectively drop the price of EpiPens. "The company, which did not lower the drug's list price, said it would reduce the patient cost of EpiPen through the use of a savings card, which will cover up to $300 of EpiPen 2-Pak."

Source:
AN ENGLISHMAN IN MISSISSIPPI
Nigel Farage: Trump Can Beat Polls
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit effort in the United Kingdom, appeared at a Trump rally in Mississippi yesterday. Farage told the 15,000-strong crowd: "Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment."

Source:
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
×