The U.S. Army today activated its second Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery during a ceremony at Fort Bliss, Texas. THAAD is a defensive weapon system developed by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, a joint service organization within the Department of Defense.
The ceremony marked the activation of A Battery/2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command. The battery’s equipment will consist of THAAD interceptors, launchers, a fire control and communications unit and radar. The commander of the new unit is Capt. Brendan McShea.
Col. Joseph DeAntona of 11th Air Defense Artillery “Imperial” Brigade and Col. Bill Lamb of the Missile Defense Agency officiated at the ceremony. Lamb is the THAAD project manager.
A Battery, 4th Regiment, is A-2 ADA’s sister unit and was the first THAAD unit in the U.S. Army. The unit was activated at Fort Bliss in May 2008 with a mission to strategically deploy conducting missile defense in support of geographic combatant commander’s priorities.
THAAD has undergone several years of rigorous testing, designed to push the system into increasingly stressful and operationally realistic scenarios. Since the current round of testing began, THAAD has intercepted every target it has flown against.
THAAD is the only defensive weapon that is specifically designed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles both inside and just outside the earth’s atmosphere. It provides protection to deployed troops around the world, as well as to other important assets and population centers against short to medium range ballistic missiles in the terminal, or final, phase of flight.
THAAD is an element of the layered, integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System designed to protect the United States, our allies and friends against all types of ballistic missiles in all phases of flight.
The prime contractor for the THAAD missile defense element is Lockheed Martin.