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Back Local News ‘Permanently place missile defense systems on Guam’

‘Permanently place missile defense systems on Guam’

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RECOGNIZING that Guam's strategic location contributes significantly to the United States' defense posture in the Asia-Pacific region, lawmakers have introduced Resolution 186 which requests President Barack Obama, Department of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the U.S. Congress to permanently station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) unit and a Patriot Air and Missile Defense System on Guam.

The THAAD system has the capability to intercept and destroy long-range ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final or terminal phase of flight, according to a release from Sen. Frank Aguon's office.

The Patriot system involves a land-based interceptor that targets drones, cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles.

Aguon, who chairs the Committee on Guam U.S. Military Relocation and Homeland Security, introduced the resolution along with Sens. Tony Ada and Brant McCreadie.

The three senators met last month with Riki Ellison, founder and chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance – a non-profit organization which lobbies for the deployment, development and evolution of missile defense.

Aguon believes the permanent stationing of the two missile defense systems would effectively help the U.S. protect its Asia-Pacific assets from potential threats of missile attacks.

Aguon noted that three months ago, the Alpha 4 THAAD battery was deployed to Guam in response to North Korea’s threats of a ballistic missile attack on the island.

"While we were fortunate to welcome the nation’s newest land-based missile defense system, I believe we must continue working with our nation’s leaders to permanently secure missile interceptor systems on Guam to effectively protect our island, its people, our neighbors and regional allies,” Aguon said in a statement.

Aguon stressed that the permanent stationing of both the THAAD and Patriot systems would not only enhance the U.S. military's overall defense posture for Guam, the Micronesia region and Asia; it would also ensure that the U.S. military stands ready to respond to any potential threats.

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