The U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) has started the deployment of a U.S. Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to Romania in support of NATO Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).
The system arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base on May 3 on board a U.S. Air Force (USAF) C-17 Globemaster III strategic military transport aircraft.
The THAAD, from the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, will integrate into the existing NATO BMD architecture during a limited period of scheduled maintenance and updates on the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Romania this summer.
While deployed, THAAD will support the ongoing Aegis Ashore Romania mission at Naval Support Facility Deveselu as part of the existing U.S. and NATO BMD mission. Once in place, NATO’s Allied Air Command will assume operational control of THAAD for the duration of its mission.
Aegis Ashore Romania is an important part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), which is designed to protect European NATO allies and U.S. deployed forces in the region against the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles outside the Euro-Atlantic area. This site provides a defensive capability to deter future conflicts, and to defend ourselves, and our NATO allies, should deterrence fail.
The scheduled update to Aegis Ashore Romania is part of regular updates taking place on all U.S. Aegis systems. The update will not add any offensive capabilities to the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System.
THAAD is a land-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). It is a globally transportable, rapidly deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. This ability to intercept enemy missiles at high altitudes mitigates effects before they can reach the ground.
THAAD will remain operational in Romania only while Aegis Ashore maintenance and updates are taking place during the summer.
This preplanned and temporary THAAD deployment demonstrates U.S. commitment to the defense of our allies and provides deterrence against potential adversaries outside the European theater, said an earlier statement by the USEUCOM.