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US Army conducts first amphibious insertion of Patriot missile system in Philippines

A US Navy LCAC carrying a part of the first-ever amphibious insert of a Patriot Minimum Engagement Package (MEP). The operation was conducted on the island of Luzon, the Philippines, in March 2022. (US Army Pacific)

The US Army has demonstrated its ability to rapidly deploy a Patriot anti-missile package in the Asia-Pacific region by conducting the first-ever amphibious insertion of the weapon system.

This capability was demonstrated by the Bravo Battery of the US Army Pacific's 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment (1-1 ADA) at Exercise ‘Balikatan' 2022, an annual military engagement held between the US and Philippine armed forces.

As part of the operation, 1-1 ADA inserted a Patriot Minimum Engagement Package (MEP) at the Aparri municipality in the Cagayan region of Philippines' Luzon island, the service announced on 30 March. The package was delivered from the US Navy's Whidbey Island-class amphibious ship USS Ashland via two landing craft air cushions (LCACs) operated by Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7. These units mainly operate out of the US Navy's base in Sasebo, Japan.

Additionally, marines from the 9th Engineer Support Battalion prepared the landing site and ensured that the Patriot launchers were able to rapidly move to their fighting positions, said the US Army's 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command in a 31 March video to mark the milestone.

“This mission took place as part of larger amphibious and coastal defence operations throughout the exercise. The Patriot provides critical air defence capabilities and strengthens the ability of the joint and combined force to maintain security across all domains,” the command added.

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