Military News

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Missile Defense Soldiers Scan the Stratosphere



By Army Sgt. 1st Class Claudio Tejada, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command

HONOLULU, Nov. 22, 2017 — With the threat of ballistic missile launches by North Korea, the Army maintains Army-Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance systems, or AN/TPY-2, in Japan to keep a watchful eye on the skies above.

The responsibility falls to a small group of soldiers stationed in Kyogamisaki and Shariki, Japan. The radar sites are unique in that they provide regional defense for Japan while also significantly improving the defense of the United States.

The soldiers in these units operate high resolution, phased array, X-band radars designed and built specifically for the U.S. missile defense missions. The radars can perform air surveillance to very high altitudes and identify and track aerial targets, including incoming ballistic missiles. The radar also has the ability to differentiate between warheads or space debris.

Mission

The 10th Missile Defense Battery, located at the Shariki Communications Site, has been operational since 2006. This was the first AN/TPY-2 Radar installation in Japan and also the first new U.S. military installation to open there since the end of World War II.

The AN/TPY-2 radar is integrated with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system, and serves as its primary sensor. The radar's mission is to track the late stages of the missile course, enabling missiles fired by the system to intercept both outside the atmosphere and once a reentry vehicle enters the atmosphere.

The 14th Missile Defense Battery is the newest radar unit. Located at the Kyogamisaki Communications Site, it has been operational since October 2014. Since then, both units have been in the constant watch with recent events in the Korean peninsula.

Their mission is to pass highly accurate missile track data to sensor managers in the Air and Space Operations Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and sensor managers throughout the United States.

“We provide the strategic-level early warning for all ballistic missiles launched from North Korea that have the potential to impact the United States homeland,” said Army 1st Lt. Seth Bond, the 14th Missile Defense Battery executive officer.

The information received by the AN/TPY-2 radar is critical data.

Shared Information

Both units also works closely with the 100th Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Brigade based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, feeding data and cueing various radar sensors throughout U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Pacific Command.

The data collected is shared with other services and nations to provide early warning and detection of hostile missile launches as part of Pacom’s missile early warning architecture, which greatly enhances the defense of Pacom assets and the United States.

“This information cues the various sensors located throughout the Pacific to ensure any intercept vehicle will accurately engage the warhead,” Bond said.

Once a possible threat has been detected, either through space based, naval, or elevated sensors, soldiers from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command can either engage the threat or pass the engagement to an asset that is able to range the target.

“The 14th MDB has successfully tracked and processed all ballistic missile launches originating from North Korea,” Bond said. “The unit is extremely efficient and we provide updates to entities across [U.S. Army Garrison Japan], Pacom, Stratcom and [U.S. Northern Command].”
With the increase of threats from North Korea the soldiers from the 10th MDB and 14th MDB remain focused on being the nation’s first line of defense.

Battle of Cambrai Remembered 100 Years Later for Combined Arms Use



By David Vergun Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2017 — The first American units saw action in World War I during the battle of Cambrai, France, Nov. 20-Dec. 7, 1917. The same battle also showcased the first large-scale effective use of combined arms, marking an evolution in warfare, said Brian F. Neumann, a historian and World War I subject matter expert with the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

The battle began with a successful British offensive against the Germans, Neumann said.

Success of the offensive, he said, was due to the effective coordination of combined arms, which included infantry, artillery, tanks and combat air support. All were used to overrun the German trench lines in the vicinity of the northern French town of Cambrai.

The use of combined arms gave the battlefield more of a three-dimensional look, with air, tanks and artillery all supporting infantry, along with some cavalry support, he said.

The British employed several hundred tanks, which were used to overrun the German trenches and tear holes through their lines, he said. It was the most significant utilization of tanks to date.

The Americans

The Army's role in the fighting was fairly limited, he said, noting that it consisted of soldiers from the 11th, 12th and 14th Engineer Regiments, who were engaged in railway construction work behind the trench lines in support of the British.

Although America's role in the battle was limited, the news that soldiers were finally engaged in a major battle for the first time since war was declared in April made headlines and boosted morale on the home front, he said.

By Nov. 30, the British had essentially outrun their supply lines and artillery support, and that's when the Germans mounted a successful counterattack, Neumann said.

Luck for the Army engineers ran out on that day as well, when the Germans overran their area, resulting in 28 U.S. casualties.

The survivors regrouped and were reorganized into reserve infantry with their main effort being to build trenches and help the British to stabilize their lines, he said.

The Battle of Cambrai, though heralded for successful use of combined arms, was actually a fairly typical World War I battle in that a successful offensive was then met by a successful counteroffensive, with the lines between friend and foe not shifting that much and a lot of casualties taken on both sides: around 45,000 on each side, he said.

Although America had declared war against Germany seven months earlier, the American Army wasn't yet ready for large-scale combat operations, Neumann said.

While the roughly four U.S. combat divisions in France were still in training in late 1917, he said, they would see plenty of action in 1918.

Marshall Center Hosts Security Policy Seminar for Romanian Parliamentarians



By Christine June George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany, Nov. 22, 2017 — Romania has the highest growth in defense spending in Eastern Europe after achieving NATO’s goal of spending two percent of its gross domestic product on its defense budget this year.

To learn how to effectively spend this money to protect their fellow citizens, parliamentarians from the Committee for Defense, Public Order and National Security of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania looked to the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. The Marshall Center is a German-American international security and defense studies institute here.

Romania’s Important Role

“Romania is experiencing very strong economic growth, which was one of the things discussed here the last two days,” said Matthew Rhodes, director of the Marshall Center’s Central and South Eastern Europe Non-Resident Program.

Rhodes and his team hosted a tailored seminar in security policy for 13 members from this committee Nov. 16-17.

“This seminar was important because of the role that Romania plays within its neighborhood, and the broader security effect it has even beyond its own borders,” Rhodes said. “Romania shows particular commitment to building a strong partnership with the United States, Germany and NATO.”

Europe’s Current Security Challenges

A majority of the seminar topics were requested by the committee, said Keith Dayton, the Marshall Center director.

“These topics reflect the multiple current security challenges that Europe is facing, as well as the particular roles of parliaments in addressing them,” Dayton said. “We often speak now about different kinds of threats along the eastern and southern flanks of Europe, and Romania’s history and geographic location connect it to both.”

He cited the fact that Romania shares borders with Ukraine and Moldova, whose conflicts with Russia have shaken assumptions about a peaceful post-Cold War order in Europe.

Topics included the role of parliament in defense budgeting and planning, state secrecy versus transparency, approaches to good governance to counter corruption, cyber security and energy security.

“We had very concrete discussions about energy related matters and security in the Black Sea Region,” said Dorel Caprar, chairman of the Defense, Public Order and National Security Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania. “This is important because in the future, vital decisions will have to be made in parliament.”

Encouraging Productive Democratic Partnerships

Caprar said they learned new and useful information on topics that the committee comes across daily in their work, like how to purchase equipment for the armed forces, how to decide on a supplier for military equipment and how to liaison with foreign companies investing in the defense sector.

“We also learned more about our strategic partners within NATO, the European Union and the U.S.,” Caprar added. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

“Seminars like this one are welcomed for members of parliament because in our legislative work, we come across many of the issues and problems that we need to regulate,” he said.

The Marshall Center hosts tailored seminars for parliament members of countries not only from the Central and South Eastern Europe, but also from Central Asia and Black Sea Eurasia.

“These seminars certainly play into our overall mission to encourage productive democratic partnerships in the security and defense fields,” said Rhodes, who added that two to three seminars like this one are held every year at the Marshall Center for countries in the Central and South Eastern Europe.
“It’s important to include parliaments in our outreach programs,” he said, “as they play an important role in overseeing defense in passing legislation that affects the ability of their countries to respond to security challenges.”