Support our mission

Media reports this week saying the United States is considering placing advanced Patriot missiles at Tokyo-area bases are “false,” according to the top U.S. commander in Japan.

“There are no U.S. plans of this coming into Tokyo,” Lt. Gen. Bruce Wright, commander of U.S. Forces Japan and the 5th Air Force, told Stars and Stripes Tuesday in response to media reports of further deployments in Japan of the PAC-3 missile defense system.

Installation of Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile batteries at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa began last month.

“The only plan is for Okinawa,” Wright said. “… The reports are false.”

The Associated Press, citing the Nihon Keizai newspaper, reported Sunday that the defense missiles also were being considered for Yokota Air Base and Yokosuka Naval Base. The Japanese newspaper did not disclose how it obtained its information.

On Monday, USFJ issued a statement saying that “the United States will continue to work closely with the Government of Japan to determine how best to deploy and utilize respective (ballistic missile defense) assets to meet the commitment to the defense of Japan.”

Wright, however, said Tuesday that “there is no specific plan for Tokyo.”

Sunday’s AP story also reported that the United States is installing similar Patriot batteries in South Korea.

The top U.S. military command in South Korea, however, said Monday that no changes in Patriot missile strength on the peninsula are currently in the works.

“We are basically in a steady state for Patriot assets,” said Dave Oten, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman.

PAC-3 missiles are among those in the Army’s 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, based at Osan Air Base south of Seoul.

The brigade maintains eight Patriot firing batteries on the peninsula, at Suwon, Osan, and Kunsan air bases, and at the Army’s Camp Carroll in Waegwan.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up