Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Military's plans include missile shield

Military's plans include missile shield

Posted: Nov 25, 2009 3:37 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2009 6:43 PM
by Janjeera Hail

With the planned relocation of thousands of U.S. Marines to our island, Guam will no doubt become a bigger target for America's enemies. But according to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the military's planning on building us a massive missile shield.

So far, much of the attention surrounding the military buildup has focused on the impact of the Marines. But the buildup will also have an Army component, separate from the Reserve, in the form of the Army Air Missile Defense Task Force. According to the Draft EIS, Guam needs to develop a missile defense system to protect us from possible ballistic missile attacks from enemies of the United States.

The proposed action would be comprised of three missile systems:

* The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is long-range, designed to intercept missiles during late mid-course or final stage flight, protecting population centers, industrial resources, and military forces.

* Patriot missiles use hit-to-kill technology to strike cruise missiles and air breathing threats right before impact. Hit-to-kill technology means patriots can destroy their targets by the sheer force of impact.

* The last type of missile the military plans to have here is the Surface-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile, a short-range weapon that can engage targets beyond line-of-sight and defend against unmanned missiles and cruise missiles.

That'll require 630 Army personnel and 126 civilian personnel presumed to be coming from off-island, plus an estimated 950 military dependants, bringing the grand total to 1,706. And that's not including the labor force needed to build everything: a battalion headquarters, company facilities, tactical equipment and maintenance facilities, central vehicle wash facilities, organizational storage, oil storage, parking, and of course additional housing.

While the defense system promises to provide invaluable protection to our island, it will no doubt come at a great cost to our resources.

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