US to Deploy Missile Defense System to Guam

April 3, 2012

Headlines across the nation report that U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced the deployment of a missile defense system to Guam. The defense system was already scheduled to be put in position in Guam, but the timeline has been sped up due to threats from North Korea to strike Guam, Hawaii and the mainland U.S.

The defense system, THADD, stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense. The New York Times reported that Guam is within missile range of North Korea.

The BBC reports:
The Thaad system includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, and AN/TPY-2 tracking radar, together with an integrated fire control system. 
The Pentagon said the missile system would be moved to Guam, a US territory with a significant US military presence, as a "precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat".
A press release from Guam Congresswoman Bordallo states:
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement regarding the announcement from the Pentagon that a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will be deployed to Guam in the coming the weeks. The Pentagon made this announcement following North Korea’s threats of an attack on military bases in Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. The Congresswoman was briefed by an official at the Pentagon with more details on this deployment. 
“Although North Korea continues to make aggressive threats that do not match the readiness or capabilities of their military, it is critical that we take every threat against our country seriously,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. 
“I am encouraged that the Pentagon will soon be deploying a THAAD missile defense system to Guam to defend our island and the Asia-Pacific region. The Pentagon and the White House have assured our community on Guam that our military is ready to respond to any threat to our country and our allies. This announcement is further proof that our military has taken the necessary and precautionary steps to ensure the safety of our island. These threats and North Korea’s nuclear test and rocket launches demonstrate the critical need for the rebalance to the increasingly vital Asia-Pacific region. I hope the Congress recognizes that further delays in the Guam and broader Asia-Pacific realignments make our allies question our commitment to the region. Moreover, I hope that North Korea will work with our international community to end its development of nuclear and offensive weapons systems.”
Secretary of State John Kerry will visit South Korea next week.