Operation Active Fence (Patriot mission Turkey)

26 January 2013 - 26 January 2015
Military personnel

The Arabic Spring was a wave of uprisings and protests in North Africa and the Middle East. The first disturbances were in December 2010. In March 2011, the Arabic Spring reached Syria. Civil war broke out. This led to tensions with the neighbouring country of Turkey. NATO member state Turkey called on the help of its allies.

Air defence

The airspace was threatened the most. Turkey feared a Scud missile attack. The country therefore asked for air defence reinforcement in November 2012. The North Atlantic Council approved the request a few days later.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands committed to deploying Patriot missiles. These countries had the latest version (PAC-3) of surface-to-air missiles. The 3 countries were to work closely to protect Turkish airspace. Turkey was to provide the necessary support. It also provided the security of the Patriot batteries.

Operation Active Fence

The first military personnel arrived in Turkey in early January 2013. The materiel was transported by ship and aircraft. The US batteries were stationed in Gaziantep and the German ones in Kahramanmaras. The Netherlands 1 (NL) Ballistic Missile Defence Task Force departed for the city of Adana. There the Dutch battery was stationed on Incirlik Air Base.

The battery consisted of:

  • a command post;
  • a fire control centre;
  • a radar system;
  • 6 multiple-launch rocket systems.

The Netherlands battery became operational on 26 January 2013. The mission ended 2 years later. The battery did not need to come into action in the interim period. The deployment nonetheless made high demands of the personnel and materiel of the Defence Ground-based Air Defence Command (DGLC).