Army Is Updating Its Missile Defense System To Protect South Korea From Nukes

U.S. Army Spc. Justin Maurer Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment patriot missile operator and maintainer, guides a fork lift while maneuvering dummy munitions on a patriot missile system at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 27, 2017.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker

As North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un continues to threaten nuclear war, U.S. allies across the Pacific are taking every precaution. South Korea, the nation most vulnerable to an attack by the DPRK, has begun to prepare for the worst — but they aren’t preparing alone.

The U.S. Army’s 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade recently completed an eight-month exercise to modernize a Patriot missile defense system and train up its operators, who are tasked with protecting Osan Air base from a North Korean attack.

"The purpose of the battalion netted exercise was twofold,” Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tara Gibbs, the 35th’s Patriot modernization project officer, said in an Army release. ”First, it was to validate the systems to ensure everything worked and met the industry standard for performance. The second was to qualify the soldiers and crews on the new equipment."

The project is the largest Patriot modernization effort ever carried out outside a depot facility, according to the release. The 35th Brigade worked with contractors from Raytheon and the Lower Tier Project Office to complete the project, which replaced outdated technology on the system.

The Patriot missile defense system, produced by Raytheon, has been around for decades and was made famous by its deployment against Saddam Hussein’s Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. The system detects, identifies, and destroys ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, and threatening aircraft. “Since January of 2015, Patriot has intercepted more than 100 ballistic missiles in combat operations around the world,” according to Raytheon.

"For the Soldiers that work in the engagement control station, one of the smaller but more comfortable enhancements was the ergonomic improvements," 2nd Lt. Nathan Jackson, a platoon leader in Company C, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, said in the release. "Touch screen maneuverable displays, along with improved adjustable seats, make long shifts more endurable."

In the coming months, the Army says, it will work to continue to fortify its bases on the Korean peninsula from the growing threat of North Korean aggression.

Though Kim has not publicly stated any plans to launch missiles at its enemy to the south, his regime recently made a threat to launch a nuclear missile at Guam in advance of a joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States.

He walked that plan back in a statement Aug. 14, but added that he could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

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WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

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The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

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