US to deploy additional troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia

14 October 2019 (Last Updated October 14th, 2019 12:12)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that additional troops and military assets will be deployed to boost the defence of Saudi Arabia.

US to deploy additional troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia
A THAAD interceptor is launched from a THAAD battery located on Wake Island, during Flight Test Operational (FTO)-02 Event 2a, conducted in November 2015. Credit: Ben Listerman.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that additional troops and military assets will be deployed to boost the defence of Saudi Arabia.

Authorised by US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, the latest deployment will include two fighter squadrons, one air expeditionary wing (AEW), and two Patriot batteries.

The Pentagon is also deploying one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) to Saudi Arabia.

Chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said: “Secretary Esper informed Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman this morning of the additional troop deployment to assure and enhance the defence of Saudi Arabia.

“Taken together with other deployments this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorised within the last month.”

The US has increased the deployment of troops to the US Central Command area of responsibility by 14,000 since May.

Hoffman stated that the deployments are intended to ensure readiness to respond to regional risks.

Hoffman added: “As we have stated, the US does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime, but we will retain a robust military capability in the region that is ready to respond to any crisis and will defend US forces and interest in the region.”

Saudi Arabia requested for additional US forces to enhance security following tensions in the region sparked by an attack on the country’s oil facilities last month. The kingdom accused Iran of orchestrating the drone attack.

Last month, the Pentagon approved the deployment of one Patriot battery, four Sentinel radars and around 200 support personnel.