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Brigade worked with contractors from Raytheon and the Lower Tier Project Office to complete the project, which replaced outdated technology on the system.
"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.
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.