The United States has made “significant” progress in its four-phase plan to establish a missile defense shield in Europe, said Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for arms control. Speaking at a missile defense conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Rose said the first phase of the European phased adaptive approach system became operational in March with the deployment of the USS Monterey, an Aegis cruiser equipped with anti-missile sensors and Standard Missile 3 interceptors, to the Mediterranean. The United States also is discussing deploying an AN/TPY-2 X-band missile-tracking radar somewhere in southern Europe, he said. As part of phase two, the United States and Romania in May jointly selected Deveselu Air Base, near Caracal, Romania, as an SM-3 missile defense interceptor site. That deployment is slated for the 2015 timeframe, said Rose. As for phase three, the United States last July reached a similar agreement with Poland to establish a US interceptor site in Poland around 2018. Poland is in the “final stages” of ratifying that plan, he said. For phase four, the Defense Department has begun concept development of a more advanced interceptor for deployment around 2020, he said. (Rose speech)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.