Air Defense: November 24, 2002


The U.S. Army currently has five Patriot air defense batteries in the Persian Gulf area (two in Kuwait, two in Saudi Arabia and one in Incerlik air base in western Turkey.) The batteries operate 24/7, using three 16 man crews, each crew manning the equipment for 24 hours. Each battery has about 80 troops, eight launchers (each with four ready to fire missiles in containers), plus radar and fire control equipment. The Patriot has never gotten a chance to fire at enemy aircraft, so it has evolved into an anti-missile missile. In the Persian Gulf, the Patriot is there to defend against Iraqi SCUD missiles, and maybe a hostile aircraft that the U.S. Air Force doesn't get first. 


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