Breedlove Visits Turkey Air Defense Battery

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove paid a visit to US troops deployed to Gaziantep, Turkey, last week, where a NATO-led PATRIOT missile unit is supporting Turkish air defense activity against Syrian aerial incursions. Breedlove toured and was briefed on the operations of the US Army Patriot batteries, and discussed NATO engagement with Turkey and its role in preventing the violence in Syria from affecting the Alliance’s regional allies, according to an Aug. 1 release. “While it’s unfortunate that the threat remains, we are clearly demonstrating NATO’s resolve and commitment to its core principles right here,” Breedlove said. The Patriot deployment was extended for an additional year, after talks between US and Turkish defense officials last November in Washington, DC. Patriot batteries also are deployed in two other areas in southern Turkey, including near Adana and near Incirlik AB. Breedlove said Turkey is continuing to respond to “challenges” from the south in Syria and Iraq, adding there are “significant changes happening in the overall security environment around us.”