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Thread: NATO Shows Off Missile Base In Romania, Calling It ‘Purely Defensive’

  1. #1
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    NATO Shows Off Missile Base In Romania, Calling It ‘Purely Defensive’

    NATO Shows Off Missile Base In Romania, Calling It ‘Purely Defensive’

    NATO Interceptor site at Deveselu, Romania.

    DEVESELU, Romania -- NATO’s land-based missile defense system in southern Romania has been a bone of contention between the alliance and Russia since it began operations at the start of 2016. Russia claims the facility, along with a similar NATO base in Poland, are meant to undermine Moscow’s nuclear deterrent. But now, ahead of NATO’s December 3-4 summit in London, the alliance has opened the facility at Romania’s Military Base 99 for a tour by a group of journalists and ambassadors to Romania from 20 NATO members states. The November 19 visit marked the first time a group of civilians has been given a formal tour of the Aegis Ashore land-based defense system at the town of Deveselu, about 180 kilometers west of Bucharest. Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca said the tour was an initiative in “transparency” that demonstrates the $1 billion facility has “a purely defensive nature.” The U.S. Navy commander in charge of the facility rejected the Kremlin’s claims -- insisting it is “purely defensive” and designed only to protect Europe from possible ballistic missile attacks launched from the Middle East. “The only thing that we have with respect to capabilities is the ability to launch SM-3 Block IB interceptors against ballistic missiles inbound from Iran,” Commander John Fitzpatrick told RFE/RL in the control room of the missile defense base. “There is no other capability that this site has right now, and it would take extensive changes, industrial-scale changes, to make any difference,” Fitzpatrick explained. In the main operation center of the facility, the ambassadors and journalists were allowed to see the consoles used by U.S. Navy sailors to control the missile defense shield -- which has never fired a missile and is banned from carrying out test launches.

    Each operator’s station at Deveselu contains three computer screens along with communication systems and launch switches that would be engaged to fire the SM-3s at any incoming missiles during an attack on Europe. The ambassadors on the tour also gathered in a briefing room where U.S. and Romanian military officials explained the detectors that warn of an incoming missile attack, the facility’s Romanian security detachment, and the missile launch systems. Altogether, there are about 500 Romanian soldiers, 250 U.S. troops, and other personnel working at Military Base 99. While Russia has complained about NATO’s expansion to include countries that had been in the Eastern Bloc during the Soviet era, NATO’s easternmost members see the alliance as the main source of security against growing Russian aggression. Romania, which joined the alliance in 2004, also considers its strategic partnership with the United States as a security guarantor. NATO has said that the summit, including an event called NATO Engages, will “jointly assess challenges and opportunities and highlight NATO’s enduring value as it adapts to a changing world.
    And before a Putin supporter claims these are offensive missiles, see the links below. Aegis is the defensive shield system used aboard US warships.

    This is also the defensive system Japan uses to protect itself from incoming North Korean missiles.

    Related: SM-3 Interceptor | Raytheon

    Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense: Standard Missile-3 (SM-3)

    "Donald Trump Is A Race Baiting Xenophobic Religious Bigot. He Doesn't Represent My Party." — Senator Lindsey Graham 2015

  2. #2
    Educator swing_voter's Avatar
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    Re: NATO Shows Off Missile Base In Romania, Calling It ‘Purely Defensive’

    It's aimed at preventing missile attacks from rogue regimes in the Middle East, not Russia.

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