The US Department of Defense is in the planning stages of sending additional Iron Dome missile defense systems to Israel. This move comes as Israel continues to fend off missiles fired from the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists.
A Department of Defense official confirmed that planning is underway for this provision. “The U.S. will be flowing additional Iron Dome support to Israel,” the official stated, highlighting that the Department is “currently engaged in planning to support the provision of U.S. Iron Dome batteries to Israel.”
On October 7, Hamas terrorists conducted a surprise attack on Israel, marking it the deadliest attack on the country in 50 years. The onslaught included over 3,000 rockets, drones, and commando raids targeting Israeli cities, military bases, and infrastructure.
More Iron Dome systems to bolster Israel’s missile defens
Israel’s air defense system, the Iron Dome, neutralized about 90% of the incoming threats, as reported by the Israeli military. This system was created to protect Israeli civilians from rockets and mortars fired by militant groups in Gaza and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. It made its debut in April 2011, stopping a Grad rocket aimed at Ashkelon, fired from Gaza.
Iron Dome operates using a sophisticated radar system that detects incoming projectiles from about 40 miles away. It then calculates the trajectories of the projectiles and assesses their potential threats, firing a launcher containing 20 interceptor missiles to intercept any rocket deemed dangerous.
Last week, US Reps. Jared Moskowitz and Brian Mast, both Florida Democrats, announced they were spearheading a bipartisan coalition to urge the Department of Defense to transfer Iron Dome systems to Israel. According to a press release from Moskowitz and Mast, the US owns two Iron Dome systems that are “sitting idle and not being used,” and that the units were purchased in accordance with the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
“Every time the Iron Dome is used, it saves thousands of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives from Hamas terrorists,” Moskowitz said. “Now more than ever, the United States must stand with Israel in their war against terrorists who wish nothing but to destroy Israel and the people that live there.”
As part of an effort to deter a wider conflict, but also to bolster stability and defend national security interests, the US Department of Defense is in the process of strengthening forces in the Middle East. The US Navy announced last week it would be sending the USS Mount Whitney to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as tensions in the Middle East rise amid the Israel-Hamas war.
The USS Mount Whitney, the Navy’s command and control ship, left Gaeta, Italy, on Wednesday to join the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group in support of US Operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which was in the Eastern Mediterranean, is heading to the Persian Gulf, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Saturday.
Also in the area is a special operation capable Marine rapid response force of nearly 2,000 Marines and sailors known as the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is moving closer to Israel via the Red Sea. This group includes the amphibious ready groups USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall.
With information from Fox News