Our nation has been in conflict with the Middle East for over two and a half decades. Air Defense Artillery has made a huge impact in Middle East conflicts. The threats that make Air Defense Artillery a necessity for these conflicts include a number of aircraft, such as planes, jets and helicopters as well as launched munitions like scud missiles and mortars. Air Defense Artillery is an ever evolving force and has been there for protection of American forces against these threats. Air Defense Artillery is a group of weapons that divide the airspace into two different sectors. Short Range Air Defense, also known as SHORAD, defends against low altitude, short range aircraft and munitions. High to Medium Altitude Air Defense, also known as HIMAD, defends against long range, high speed, high altitude air breathing threats and munitions. Air and Missile Defense units, also known as AMD Battalions, include a combination of SHORAD and HIMAD defensive systems.
The Gulf war was a conflict that took place from 2 August 1990 to 28 February 1991. The reason for the United States involvement in this conflict was to liberate Kuwait from the invasion of Iraq. (Henry) SHORAD had a large role to play in this event through the protection against Iraq’s air breathing and munitions threats.
SHORAD, Short Range Air Defense, covers a wide variety of weapon systems. Some of these weapons systems include the Stinger, the Avenger and Counter, Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (CRAM) missile systems. MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) is a single firing, hand held, shoulder launching Stinger missile system that defends against helicopters and other low flying aircraft such as unmanned aerial vehicles. The Avenger is a HMMWV, short for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, mounted system. The Avenger system has up to eight Stinger missiles that are split between two separate missile pods and also has fifty caliber machine gun. The Avenger is capable of eliminating the same threats as the Stinger missile system. The Counter, Rocket, Artillery, Mortar system, also referred to as the CRAM, is a combination of a gun called Phalanx and a Sentinel Radar. A Sentinel Radar for spotting incoming rockets and mortars. The Phalanx and Sentinel work together to eliminate rocket and mortar threats.
The first SHORAD Air Defense unit to deploy to this conflict was 5th Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery. 5/62 ADA was a Vulcan Stinger unit that originally deployed on 12 August 1990 to protect Patriot units due to their vulnerability from low flying, air breathing threats. 5/62 ADA was later split up and each battery given assignments to protect other types of units. Examples of these assignments are; Alpha Battery joined the 75th Field Artillery Brigade and Bravo Battery joined 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. (Henry)
All-encompassing the mission of SHORAD, 5/62 ADA protected many different assets from air breathing threats during the...