D-2 conducts first THAAD missile redistribution exercise on Korean Peninsula

by 1LT Taylor John-Morton
U.S. Army

Delta Battery, 2nd Air Defense Regiment (D-2 (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense)), Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, continued to demonstrate its commitment to mission readiness by recently executing the constitution of numerous THAAD interceptors, the first such training exercise conducted in the Republic of Korea.

D-2 (THAAD) Battery's Patriot system counterparts of 2-1 ADA Battalion conduct bi-annual Storage Combat Load (SCL) retrieval exercises in order to practice wartime procedures and convoy operations between their prescribed ammunition depot and tactical locations. The Patriot units have rehearsed the battalion's N-Hour sequence and built rapport with supporting ordnance units over the years; and therefore, the novice "Defenders" THAAD Battery committed themselves to completing missile redistribution exercises in similar fashion to their Patriot system peers. The battery employed missile reconstitution and de-constitution procedures of the missile round pallets (MRPs), September 18, 2018.

The intricate reconstitution and de-constitution mission encompassed three days of meticulous execution. Ten "Defenders" Soldiers, Quality Assurance Specialist Ammunition Surveillance/Ammunition Civilians personnel of 52nd Ordnance Company, 6th Ordnance Battalion, and subject-matter-expert contractors, ensured mission success. The unit deployed its small element consisting of two THAAD launchers and guard up-armored HWMMVs to an ammo depot, executing a flawless convoy on the winding Korean highways to achieve another successful benchmark for the unit.

Mr. Donald Young, the Chief of Surveillance for 52nd Ordnance Company, equipped the "Defenders" with additional equipment to include a 16K forklift and a crane to safely remove the THAAD interceptors from storage. Over three days, the Soldiers dedicated themselves to reconstituting the live THAAD interceptors to configure the MRPs. The "Defenders" crew worked seamlessly as a team.

After removing the interceptors from the bunker, the Soldiers secured the live ammunition to the crane, communicated with the crane operator and "tags" to maintain stability of the interceptor, and then safely fastened each interceptor to the pallet. The Soldiers committed themselves to building the MRPs, refining their launcher crew drills and providing feedback on all future constitution missions. The "Defender" NCOs and Soldiers conducting the mission eagerly accepted the task and felt proud to continue paving the way forward for D-2 (THAAD) Battery's permanent footprint within the Korean peninsula.

Having completed the re-constitution operation, and redeployment to Camp Carroll, South Korea, the D-2 (THAAD) Battery had gained a greater appreciation for the importance of rehearsals in order to sustain their "Fight Tonight" readiness. "Defenders" Leaders and Soldiers, coordinated future reconstitution rehearsals with 52nd Ordnance Company. Their commitment to defending the Korean peninsula continues to remain exemplary across the formation.

"Ready in Defense!", "Stand or Die!", "Prestige Worldwide"!

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