On 29th December 2014, the first contingent was deployed to Turkey, taking over from the Dutch unit that was located at the Adana airport a month later.
Since 2015, a PATRIOT battery belonging to the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Command (MAAA) is deployed in the Turkish city of Adana, carrying out surveillance tasks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as a consequence of Spain´s strong commitment to the collective security of all NATO countries. The Spanish contingent is fully operational and deployed at the Incirlik Air Base.
The unit deployment was conducted under the Council of Ministers Agreement of 26th December 2014, which extended the participation of units and military observers to operations outside national borders. Thanks to this decision, Spain showed its support and involvement in Turkish security.
The mission is purely defensive and, according to NATO, it demonstrates the existing solidarity between allies and serves as an example to show that the collective defence is considered a “cornerstone” within the organization.
On 11th December 2015, the Council of Ministers authorised an extension up to the 31st December 2016, with a maximum of 150 troops.
The Spanish Patriot unit participation has been extended up to the 31st December 2019.
After that date, Spain is expected to maintain its mission with staff rotation every six months.
The mission Support to Turkey (originally named Active Fence) was launched in December 2012, when NATO, at the request of the Government of Turkey, deployed six Patriot anti-missile batteries from Holland, Germany and the United States. Its aim was to increase the Turkish defensive capabilities in light of the threats from the Syrian conflict, both from the regime of Bashar el Asad – who used Scud missiles against the rebel forces- and from the Daesh jihadi group, which managed to gain control of one of the Syrian army´s ballistic arsenals.
In August 2014, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) asked Spain to relieve some of the units deployed in 2015 in order to maintain the Alliance´s efforts in this mission. Spain decided to meet the request and in January 2015, deployed a Patriot battery belonging to the 74th Anti-air Artillery Regiment, whose mission is the anti-missile defence of the city of Adana against possible attacks from Syria.
This mission, which began on 26th January 2015, represents the first time that Spain has deployed a ballistic missile defence system abroad.
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