General Breedlove thanks Spain for Patriot commitment

Sep 18, 2014

MONS,  Belgium -  General Philip M. Breedlove thanked Spain for its recent decision to provide PATRIOT missile batteries and 130 soldiers to augment NATO’s defensive deployment in southern Turkey.  The Alliance deployed six batteries in 2013 to augment Turkey's air defence capabilities to defend the population from ballistic missile threats emanating from the Syrian conflict. 
Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes announced the commitment on 17 September and said that Spain would collaborate by providing a similar number of assets as other Allies that are involved.
"I strongly welcome the Spanish commitment of PATRIOT missiles and troops to the NATO deployment in southern Turkey,” said General Breedlove.  "The Alliance's southern border is located in a difficult neighbourhood and considerable instability remains in Syria and across the region.  Spain’s clear demonstration of Alliance solidarity is critically important to the people of Turkey and for all members of the Alliance,” he added.
SACEUR General Philip M. Breedlove. Photo courtesy of: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.
In January 2015, Spanish missiles and soldiers are expected to replace the two Dutch batteries deployed in Adana, Turkey. The Netherlands commitment began in early 2013.  
"The Netherlands’ contribution to NATO’s PATRIOT deployment has been remarkable and the performance of Dutch soldiers has been outstanding,” said General Breedlove.  The Netherlands deployed their PATRIOT batteries with remarkable speed at a very critical time and I am very grateful for their willingness to contribute to the collective security of the Alliance,” he said.
In response to Turkey’s request, NATO Foreign Ministers decided on 4 December 2012 that NATO would "augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities in order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the Alliance’s border.”

Patriot missile system as presently deployed in Turkey. - Photo courtesy of: SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Six Patriot missile batteries are currently operating under NATO command and control in southern Turkey.  The Alliance rapidly deployed these assets in order to augment Turkey's air defence capabilities to defend the population and territory of Turkey.
Two Dutch batteries are operating in Adana, two German batteries are in Kahramanmaras and two batteries from the United States are located in Gaziantep.  Together, these Patriot batteries are actively defending 3.5 million people in Turkey against missile attacks.
This deployment is defensive only and represents a concrete demonstration of Alliance solidarity and resolve.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office.


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