2015-02-10 In its first deployment outside of Spain, Spanish air defense forces deploy to Turkey.
Spanish troops joined NATO’s Patriot anti-ballistic missile deployment in Adana, Turkey on Monday (26 January 2015), replacing a Dutch unit which had been stationed there since January 2013.
For the past two years, NATO’s Patriot deployment on Turkey’s south-eastern border has reinforced Turkey’s air defenses against the threat posed by Syria’s ballistic missiles. NATO Foreign Ministers approved the mission in December 2012, after a request from Turkey. At that time, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States each deployed two Patriot missile batteries and soldiers to operate them.
The Spanish unit is now operational and protecting the south-eastern city of Adana.
The German and American batteries, which are stationed in Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep respectively, also remain in place. NATO continues to follow the ongoing crisis in Syria with grave concern. Over the past two years, NATO has detected hundreds of Syrian short-range missile launches. The Alliance remains fully committed to the defense of Turkey.
According to a story in Zaman published January 7, 2015:
The Netherlands, Germany and the United States had each sent two Patriot missile batteries and soldiers to operate them in early 2013, after Turkey, a NATO ally, called for aid to defend itself against attacks from Syria on its southern border. Approximately 400 German troops are operating the Patriots in Kahramanmaraş, a province some 100 kilometers north of the border with Syria.
The Netherlands announced in August that it will withdraw its Patriot missile batteries and the Dutch soldiers operating them in Adana province at the end of January.
Spain decided to replace the Netherlands’ contribution to the deployment, and 145 Spanish troops and a new battery are en route to İskenderun, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported this week. The new Patriot battery is expected to be operating by the end of this month.
The video below shows a ceremony officially ending the Dutch engagement in the Patriot mission in defense of Turkey.
The video is credited to NATO and is dated January 27, 2015.