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US Military Team in Israel Reported Safe Despite Attacks
- Subject: US Military Team in Israel Reported Safe Despite Attacks
- From: rossana <rossana at comodinoposta.org>
- Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 08:09:08 +0100
- User-agent: Thunderbird 188.8.131.52 (Windows/20081209)
Un esempio di funzionamento di Eucom e di città controllata con sistema
di posizionamento globale (GPS)
Israel Aerospace Industries' Command and Control System Installed in
Urban Situation Room in Ashkelon
WASHINGTON: About 100 U.S. European Command soldiers, airmen and Marines
deployed to Israel to help set up an early warning radar system reported
no close encounters with air strikes or retaliatory attacks along the
Gaza Strip, a Eucom spokesman said.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas refused to renew a ceasefire
agreement with Israel when it expired Dec. 19, and began stepping up
rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel. Israel, in turn, began
launching airstrikes against Gaza Strip targets Dec. 27 in an effort to
eliminate Hamas’ ability to fire rockets into Israeli territory.
Air Force Lt. Col. John Dorrian confirmed Stars and Stripes’ report that
the Eucom team is operating on an Israeli air base nowhere near the
The Eucom troops deployed to Israel to help set up an Army/Navy
Transportable Radar Surveillance system, Dorrian confirmed. The Israeli
government requested the system to help defend against a potential
missile attack from Iran.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in
mid-September, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed during a
Sept. 30 news conference.
Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and
identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude,
including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It
also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global
missile detection network.
“This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic
missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to,”
Morrell said. “It will … more than double the range of Israel's missile
defense radars and increase its available engagement time.”
This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities.
“There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly
from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more
nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and
they have asked for our assistance. And we have now provided it in the
form of this … X-band radar equipment.”
About 120 U.S. servicemembers initially deployed to Israel to set up the
system, a number Dorrian said is now down to about 100.
Morrell estimated that the system will take about half that many U.S.
personnel to operate once it is up and running. “This is and will remain
a U.S. radar system,” he said. “This is not something we are giving or
selling to the Israelis.”
The system, he said, is another sign of U.S. commitment to Israel. “We
are committed to the Israelis, to Israel’s defense,” Morrell said.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed concern about
escalating violence in Gaza. “We strongly condemn the repeated rocket
and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for
breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there,” Rice said
in a statement. “The ceasefire must be restored immediately and fully
respected. The United States calls on all concerned to protect innocent
lives and to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza.”