Home Europe US Army activates new air defense brigade in Europe

US Army activates new air defense brigade in Europe

M-SHORAD first European action
A Stinger missile launches from the US Army’s new M-SHORAD Stryker on March 10, 2022, from a beach in Rutja, Estonia. Photo: US Army

The US Army has activated a new air defense brigade that will be in charge of all air and missile defense forces operating under the European Command.

The 52nd Air Defense Artillery Brigade headquarters activated on October 5 in Sembach, Germany, with Col. Bruce A. Bredlow taking the helm.

“Our mission here in Europe is uniquely rewarding thanks to our ability to work closely with NATO on a regular basis. We’re looking forward to building new connective tissue at the tactical level with our Allies and partners and expanding our combined capacity through interoperability,” Col. Bredlow said.

The headquarters will provide command and control for all US Army air and missile defense forces within the US European Command area of responsibility, and will report directly to the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.

The 52nd ADA will assume responsibility for the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment and the future 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, which will be based in Ansbach, Germany; the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment based in Baumholder, Germany, the 11th Missile Defense Battery based in Turkey; and the 13th Missile Defense Battery based in Israel.

The expansion of US Army air defense capacity in Europe has been long in planning. Since the 10th AAMDC was upgraded to a one-star command in 2019, the role of brigade headquarters over the air defense battalions has been filled on a rotational basis, by Army National Guard air defense brigades from three states.

Adding the active-duty brigade headquarters along with the new 1-57 short-range air defense regiment to theater adds significant capacity to the US contribution to the Alliance’s ground-based air defense in EUCOM.

US President Joe Biden announced this new air defense artillery brigade at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, in June.

The activation also follows the arrival of Mobile Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) systems to Germany, with Germany-based 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (5-4 ADA), becoming the first battalion in the Army to test, receive, and field the capability.