U.S. BMD Sites In Europe Can Be Sped Up, Says Vice Adm. Syring To Congress
April 7, 2014 • 4:25PM

Vice Admiral James Syring, the Navy 3-star commander of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, briefed Congress last week, on how the U.S. land-based missile defense program in Europe can be sped up, provided Congress authorizes more funding in FY2015. He spoke at an April 2 hearing of a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.

Specifically, Syring addressed the second Aegis Ashore installation, which is scheduled for readiness in 2018 in Poland, and said this can be moved up. "We'd need some additional funds in the [fiscal year 2015] budget, and we'd need to move up the development of the IIA." He is referring to the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, which is a swifter, bigger interceptor missile under development for the Aegis Ashore program. The first site to have it is under construction in Romania in 2015, by the Seabees, at Deveselu Air Base. Poland is the second site, scheduled for 2018, unless earlier.

Syring's assessment was reported April 6 in DefenseNews (DefenseNews.com, "Navy's European Missile Sites Move Forward"), with a focus on vigilance against Russia. "The military could speed up deployment of a land-based missile defense shield in Europe to hem in a resurgent Russia...", began writer David Larter, who cited Syring's briefing to Congress, and gave various other updates from this perspective of countering Russia.

Currently, the Navy is lining up sailors to be deployed to the Romanian site. Larter reports on plans for their training, their watch schedules, and other operational protocol.

The two on-shore Navy projects in Romania and Poland are to "complement the missile defense work provided by BMD-capable ships. As part of this, the Navy has begun moving four destroyers to Rota, Spain, to serve as in-theater BMD patrol assets. The Donald Cook arrived in February and will be joined by destroyers Ross, Porter and Carney over the next two years."

Larter also reviews that fact that the whole forward deployment in East Europe, was said to be because of threats from Iran, but now is re-oriented to countering Russia.