Patriot moves: U.S., NATO allies sharing load of augmenting Saudi missile defense

Patriot moves: U.S., NATO allies sharing load of augmenting Saudi missile defense
Live fire exercise, Patriot missile battery from 108th ADA Bde. Red Legs rule. CENTCOM video (A1C Eric Mann), YouTube

[Ed. – Fascinating how the story sounds different depending on who’s reporting it.  The U.S. can certainly use Patriot systems elsewhere, and the threat from Iran does appear to have subsided significantly with the sanctions bite and the coronavirus.  Iran is also pulling forces out of Syria.  So that part is real.  But this article doesn’t add the context that Greece and France have both deployed missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the year, in an augmentation program that includes the U.S. and the UK.]

The U.S. is removing four Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia along with dozens of military personnel deployed following a series of attacks on the Saudi oil facilities last year, according to several U.S. officials. The attacks were part of hostilities that took place over several months.

Two U.S. jet fighter squadrons also have left the region, and U.S. officials also will soon consider a reduction in the U.S. Navy presence in the Persian Gulf, the officials said. The redeployment of the Patriot systems, which now is under way, hasn’t been previously disclosed.

The Pentagon’s reductions are based on assessments by some officials that Tehran no longer poses an immediate threat to American strategic interests.

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