Dutch Patriot battery to be deployed at İncirlik air base

Dutch Patriot battery to be deployed at İncirlik air base

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Dutch Patriot battery to be deployed at İncirlik air base

A camouflaged convoy of Dutch military trucks carrying two batteries of Patriot missiles is lined up for a media opportunity before departing De Peel Air Base in Vreedepeel, southern Netherlands, Monday Jan. 7, 2013. AP Photo

One of two Dutch-controlled Patriot air-defense missile batteries will be deployed at İncirlik air base in the next two weeks to defend the population around the installation from ostensible Syrian threats to Turkey, according to NATO sources.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands have agreed to each send two Patriot systems to NATO ally Turkey following Ankara’s request to the alliance for help in boosting its air defense capabilities against possible missile threats from Syria.

Along with the Patriot components, hundreds of U.S., Dutch and German soldiers will be deployed in Turkey.

Turkish, Dutch, German and U.S. military officials are conducting talks in Brussels on a memorandum of understanding that will be signed in order to clarify details such as the share of costs.

A principle of “cheap for Turkey, expensive for supplier country” will be implemented to cover the costs, such as the transportation of the systems within Turkey, according to the NATO source.

The cost for the deployment of the Patriot missiles and soldiers will be 42 million euros for the Netherlands and 25 million euros for Germany for Berlin’s role in the deployment.

The parties have also been holding talks on details of the rules of engagement for the Patriots, although the majority of the rules are already pre-set by NATO in its guidelines on “Active Fences” against purported threats.

A 30-person military team left the Netherlands yesterday for the southern province of Adana yesterday in order to make preparations for the deployment of the systems.

The Dutch team will survey and make required preparations for the deployment of the weapons, which are expected to reach Adana on Jan. 22 after a two-week sea voyage.

Two cargo planes carrying Dutch military officials and equipment were expected to land in Adana yesterday evening.

A Dutch military unit, comprised of 270 soldiers who will operate the Patriots, will leave for Adana on Jan. 21.

A ship carrying two Patriot batteries departed from Germany’s Lübeck-Travemünde port for Turkey yesterday. The German Patriot systems are expected to arrive in Turkey’s İskenderun port on Jan. 21 before being deployed in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş.

U.S. military personnel and equipment arrived last week at the İncirlik Air Base in Adana to support the deployment.