Joint Statement by the United States and Turkey on Removal of Patriot Missile Units

US Patriot missile unit near Gaziantep, Turkey, May 6, 2008The United States has informed the Turkish government that the U.S. deployment of Patriot air and missile defense units in Turkey which expires in October will not be renewed beyond the end of the current rotation. Other relevant Allies have also been consulted.

The U.S. Patriots have been in Turkey as part of a broader NATO mission since 2013. They will be redeployed to the United States for critical modernization upgrades that will ensure the U.S. missile defense force remains capable of countering evolving global threats and protecting Allies and partners – including Turkey. This decision follows a U.S. review of global missile defense posture.

The U.S. and NATO commitments to the defense of Allies – including Turkey – are steadfast.

The United States and NATO are committed to supporting Turkey’s security and regional stability. As the United States deploys additional air assets and partners with Turkey to counter ISIL, the United States will also continue to work closely with Turkey on how to support Turkey’s air defense capabilities, including against ballistic missile risks and threats.

The United States will maintain in-theater capability to rapidly transport and support emergent Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) requirements, and is prepared to sustain the current deployment site in a cold-basing status to facilitate future deployments of U.S. Patriots. If needed, the United States is prepared to return Patriot assets and personnel to Turkey within one week.

The United States will also retain a persistent presence of U.S. Navy multi-role Aegis ships in the eastern Mediterranean. These ships offer a range of capabilities to support the defense of Turkey and NATO missions, including support for NATO air and missile defense. U.S. Naval Forces in Europe will continue their close cooperation with the Turkish Navy in the region in support of Turkish defense needs.

The United States and Turkey are consulting on possible other steps that we can take bilaterally to reinforce Turkey’s security.

The United States and Turkey will consult with NATO Allies on the best means for the Alliance to address security concerns at NATO’s southeastern border, and on the future of the air defense augmentation mission in Turkey in line with Alliance solidarity.

Image: US Patriot missile unit near Gaziantep, Turkey, May 6, 2008 (photo: Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/US Army Europe)