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U.S. forces placed on alert
Patriot anti-missile battery deployed to Israel
Middle East Newsline SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM Friday, January 26, 2000 WASHINGTON — The United States has sent a Patriot anti-missile defense battery to Israel amid heightened concerns of a Middle East war.
Pentagon sources said the heightened tension in the Middle East prompted a decision to place on alert U.S. forces in Germany and Italy. They said Washington has been concerned about an Iraqi attack on Israel amid reports that several Iraqi divisions have moved close to the Syrian border.
The San Antonio Express-News published a copy of a U.S. military order that on Jan. 11 raised the alert status of U.S. forces from Threatcon Bravo to Alpha. Alpha is a heightened alert of a terrorist attack.
"Recent intelligence indicates that an increased or more predictable threat exists, thus warranting the Threatcon change," the U.S. military order read.
Pentagon officials said the Patriot missile brigade will participate in an exercise in Israel scheduled for Feb. 8. The exercise will last 15 days.
The exercise, called "Juniper Cobra," will include about 400 members of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade based near Frankfurt, Germany. A Patriot missile battery and personnel are expected to arrive by ship on Feb. 4 and join Patriot batteries already deployed in the Jewish state.
"It is a training event to sustain interoperability between the U.S. Army and the Israeli defense forces," U.S. Army spokesman Maj. Tom Collins said.
In December, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $212 million contract to produce an upgraded Patriot.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), January 26, 2001
I sure hope it is an upgraded Patriot. From previous reports the original Patriot was a piece of high priced junk.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 26, 2001.