In the Southern part of Korea, amidst the lush green mountains and large rivers, a few hours South of Osan, is the Fort Carroll U.S. Army Base. Fort Carroll is home to the 2-1 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Battalion named the “Guardians”. The 2-1 “Guardians” ADA Battalion is one of two fully outfitted Patriot Missile Defense capable battalions in Korea under the 35th ADA Brigade located on Osan Air Force Base. With the capability to jump to multiple sites, launch a multitude of missile defense interceptors from 24 launchers, at different heights, within the atmosphere, provides the 2-1 ADA battalion a credible ability to defeat multiple North Korean ballistic missiles, and their munitions denotation, that are accurate enough to pose a direct threat on the critical assets that the 2-1 ADA battalion is defending. Besides the obvious assets that need protection in the Northern parts of Korea, there are critical assets of both the United States and South Korean ownership, and origin, that need to be defended in the southern parts of Korea.
North Korea remains the number one threat to South Korea and United States forces located there. With over 1,100 short range ballistic missiles and an unpredictable new leader that yearns for respect and influence from and towards the United States and the Asia region, this remains a volatile situation. Whether Kim Jong-un goes all in, partly in, or not in at all, the United States must be able to defend and strike back quickly to defeat, halt, and bring quick resolution to the elimination of further escalation, making this important part of the world safe and secure. More important than the physical use of military force is the ability to shape, influence, and prevent conflict with the deployment of effective military capability such as our missile defense systems in our ADA Battalions in Korea. Sustainment and growth in our ADA Battalion’s inventory and launchers, in Korea, needs to be strong and more consistent. New systems such as THAAD need to be deployed, in Korea, to further enhance capability and shape influence. Continued progress and partnership with the Korean Air Force’s Missile Defense Battalions needs to be nurtured and supported.
A Patriot ADA Battalion, such as the 2-1, is made up of four firing batteries. Each battery has six launchers and a radar that can secure and defend a separate critically deemed area, within the region, from ballistic missile threats. A Patriot Battalion includes two other batteries, one for command and another maintenance battery to service and command the four firing Patriot Batteries of the battalion.
MDAA was honored to visit Fort Carroll, Korea and recognize the hundreds of soldiers of the 2-1 ADA Battalion “Guardians” for how important they are in shaping North Korea not to fight and if they choose to fight, to defeat their ballistic missiles bringing the conflict to a quick resolution while defending the South Korean and U.S. Forces stationed there. The 2-1 ADA Battalion is a diverse team made up of American soldiers, both male and female, from all over our nation that provide a wide variety of skills but more importantly they are a team with the will to win to ensure peace and prosperity for this part of Asia. They remain our Guardian Angels, in preventing conflict, and they deserve much appreciation and respect for their selfless service to both our nation and South Korea.