A report over the weekend said that the United States was likely to remove its Patriot missile defense batteries from Jordan. In a statement, Riki Ellison, Chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) said that with the missile threat against Jordan from Syria greatly reduced, there was less of a need for the missile interception system.
The “requirement for having an Army missile defense battery deployed in Jordan…is also likely removed, with a pending decision for withdrawal of these forces forthcoming,” Ellison said in a statement.
The MDAA, a private group, bills itself as “the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense.”
According to the organization, Jordan has a single Patriot installation with 4 to 6 launchers. The installation is manned by 150 American soldiers. The battery was first placed in Jordan in 2013 as part of a defense drill, but was never removed, as US officials feared that the Syrian civil war could spill over into Jordan.
According to the group, withdrawing the battery – and the soldiers manning it – “will reduce some of the intense strain on the U.S. Army’s limited number or Patriot units. Currently, 60% of U.S. Army’s Patriot units are forward deployed. This is nearly twice normal U.S. Army doctrine which mandates a deployment ratio of 33%, with the other two thirds either recuperating or preparing for deployment.”