News: Guard air defense provides expertise at MANPADS training
Story by Maj. Brooks Little
GREENVILLE, Miss. – The Transportation Security Administration in collaboration with the Greenville Mid-Delta Regional Airport hosted a Man-Portable-Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) briefing and tabletop exercise Friday to discuss vulnerabilities and test its plan for countering threats against aviation assets.
MANPADS are surface-to-air missiles can be carried and fired by a single individual or carried by several individuals and fired by more than one person acting as a crew.
Countering the proliferation of MANPADS is a top U.S. national security priority and the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery (1-204th ADA) provided subject matter expertise on its capabilities and configurations.
Man-Portable Air Defense Systems are designed to be used by national military forces to protect personnel, equipment and facilities. Since the 1970s, 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by MANPADS and over 800 deaths according to the state department.
"MANPADS are attractive to terrorist and criminals because they are so easy to transport, conceal and to use," said Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Hillman. "A successful attack against an airliner would have a serious repercussion against the international aviation community as well local and national leadership."
The 1-204th, which is headquartered in Newton, Miss., has been training with the MANPADS system since the mid 1990s and have conducted two deployments utilizing the MANPADS providing short-range air defense over the National Capital Region.