In January the first elements deployed and
they were U.S. elements who flew into Incirlik and Netherlands and Germany deployed their
assets by sea, and they arrived in Turkey early this week. and they’re currently deploying
to theirů they’re currently beginning their deployment to their locations in the cities
that they’re responsible for defending. We’re aiming for the initial operating capability
to be established this weekend. Aiming. There’s a number of factors that have to be considered
to achieve that, but we’re aiming for this weekend. And then the full operational capability,
when all the sites are up and running in all the different locations, with all the packages
required to sustain the mission for the future, we’re aiming for the end of this month. So
by the 30th of January. Initial capability. What that means is that
first systems are in place to provide defence. The first missile batteries will have arrived
and will have plugged into the Command and Control system, the sites are ready, the systems
work. So it’s the basic package. The difference to the full operational capability is the
sustainment package isn’t there. All the spare parts in case something breaks. All the fuel
and the logistics, and the manpower to continue the mission for a long time.
The key thing is that the support to air defence is integrated with our Ally Turkey’s chain
of command at all levels. And also the NATO piece, there is careful Turkish integration.
So Command and Control is NATO Command and Control, there’s a NATO commander closely
integrating, closely coordinated with our Turkish Allies, with the aim to provide defence,
using this missile defence system for up to… we think up to 3.5 million people in Turkey.
Once at full operational capability the batteries will be connected to Ramstein, and Ramstein
is part of the shared early warning system, and that will give warning of a missile that
might be a threat to our Turkish Allies. That warning will go to Ramstein and then will
go immediately out to the batteries. And the batteries then will be alerted and ready for
the possibility of a missile coming towards the area they’re defending.
We’re not sure actually how long it will last, but we’re currently planning, based on the
commitment of the nations to the mission, for up to a year. And it may be shorter, it
may be longer, but our current planning is to sustain it for that period of time. This
is based on what nations have agreed to, to commit, in terms of supporting the air defence