Guam News - Guam News
Guam - The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system known as THAAD arrived on Guam over the weekend.
Monday afternoon, Governor Eddie Calvo was told the first elements of the system had arrived by Brigadier General Daniel L. Karbler who is the Commanding General of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense command at Fort Shafter in Hawaii.
The THAAD battery was flown in from Ft. Bliss Texas. Retired Army Sgt. Major John Blas, who served for a time at Ft. Bliss, says he saw the truck mounted THAAD missile system roll by him in a convoy on Andersen AFB Sunday.
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Although a spokesman at Ft. Bliss confirmed to KDBC-TV in El Paso that the first units had departed last Thursday and arrived on Guam Saturday, the 94th Missile Defense Command in Hawaii has been tight lipped about the deployment to Guam.
U.S. Army Pacific spokesperson in Hawaii, Colonel Michael Donnelly responded to a number of our questions with the same, non-committal response.
PNC asked for confirmation of the deployement here, where it would be stationed and how long it would be deployed on Guam?
Col. Donnelly replied via email to all of these questions with the same answer:
"The position, timing and length of stay of the THAAD is a sensitive matter and a matter of operational security so we do not discuss this in detail. What is important is that the THAAD is deployed to the region as a precautionary measure to strengthen our regional defense, including Guam."
Retired Army Sgt. Major Blas was stationed at Fort Bliss for a couple of years.
"I'm quite familiar with Fort Bliss and I know that distinctive patch that they wear and so this past Sunday I was up at Andersen eating at the food court on base and I noticed two senior army non-commissioned officers and I looked at their patch and, [I said] ohhh that's from fort bliss so I'm assuming they're the advanced party,” said Blas.
Then Blas drove down to Tarague beach on Andersen Air Force base and on his way back up the hill from Tarague when he saw the THAAD system in transport.
"I hit a stop sign and lo and behold there's this convoy and they just got off the plane because I see it's an army vehicle and it's like, those missiles are self-contained on a pod that resembles a long rectangle so probably has like four to six missiles and there were two of those big trucks,” said Blas adding, "I'm watching the truck as they pass by me and I said whoa it's longer than a forty foot container."
Blas also told us he didn't say anything about the arrival until the Governor's office made it public Monday afternoon. And he declined to say where on Andersen the battery is located.
"I happen to be very fortunate to have counted the number of vehicles in the convoy and I know what they are but I will not disclose the exact location but I know where they went,” said Blas.
Last Friday, KDBC in El Paso Texas reported that 56 members of 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command left El Paso Thursday and arrived safely on Guam Saturday our time.
More than 100 soldiers from the 32nd will eventually be deployed to Guam.
"I'm excited and I think the people of Guam will be rest assured that they're here ready to defend Guam,” said Blas.
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