US personnel, gear arrive in Turkey for Patriot deployment
By Daniel Wasserbly
US personnel and equipment began arriving at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on 4 January 2013 as part of NATO's deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to support the state against potential spill over from Syria's violent internal conflict.
About 400 personnel and their equipment are to continue arriving in Turkey by airlift throughout the next several days, US European Command (EUCOM) said in a 4 January statement.
Troops from the US Army's 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, based at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, are to operate two Patriot batteries as part of the NATO mission there, which includes four more Patriot batteries: two each from Germany and the Netherlands.
EUCOM said that additional equipment is to arrive later in January by ocean transport.
US Navy Vice Admiral Charles Martoglio, deputy commander of EUCOM, explained that the Patriot batteries, which are to be operational "in the next several weeks", would be under NATO command.
Sites for the batteries appear to still be under consideration, with NATO expected to complete a study of potential locations and rules of engagement by the end of January.185 of 363 words
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