October 29, 2018 – A new command for the United States Army’s ballistic missile defense unit will soon be established in Japan to work with an Aegis destroyer of the US Navy’s 7th Fleet that is deployed to the Yokosuka base in Kanagawa.
The new command will also work with the Self-Defense Forces units that will operate the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system planned to be deployed by the Japanese Defense Ministry in Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures, Jiji press reported today quoting unnamed sources.
The move is aimed at countering threats from China, which is moving to deploy missiles capable of reaching the US mainland and US military bases in Asia as well as Chinese threats against Taiwan.
The new command will likely be in charge of directing operations of the Army’s X-band radar units deployed in the city of Tsugaru in Aomori Prefecture, and the city of Kyotango in Kyoto Prefecture.
A total of 115 personnel will be deployed to the command in stages in six to 12 months. They will use existing facilities, instead of bringing new equipment.
By setting up the new front-line command in Japan, the United States apparently aims to be ready for making quicker decisions to intercept missiles while signaling its determination to thwart threats from North Korea and China, the report said.