Two soldiers sent to 'battle space' in remote Japan
Pair's mission is to track missiles
Stars and Stripes
October 7, 2007
Shariki Communications Site, which quietly started operations last year, sits on a wooded bluff on the edge of the Sea of Japan. Since then, the farming and fishing village of 5,500 has been home to about 100 government contractors and two Army soldiers who make up the Detachment 3 of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Space Brigade in Colorado.
Their mission: To run an AN/TPY-2 radar system capable of tracking ballistic missile launches headed from Asia toward America and its allies.
Each morning, the two soldiers meet with leaders from the other two entities at the base: Raytheon Co., which runs the radar, and Chenega Blackwater Solutions, which provides the security.
They discuss the past 24 hours, the upcoming day and any problems, orders or exercises under way. The Shariki site is run by the Missile Defense Agency, which oversees the Raytheon contract. The CBS guards answer more directly to Hunter’s unit, which is attached to the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command in Hawaii.
The Americans work closely with the nearby 21st Air Defense Missile Squadron, part of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The JASDF base has occupied the bluff since 1980. Now its 300 airmen staff four Japanese-built Patriot missiles and monitor the international waters that separate Honshu from Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island.
Raytheon maintains the radar and Blackwater guards it, all overseen by two U.S. Army uniforms - a captain and a sergeant.
How the expletive deleted did the Blackwater employees get the necessary firearms permits from the Japanese government? And what kind of weaponry are they permitted? Do they, for example, have their attack helicopters with them?
I do not see how Blackwater could swing this unless the armed guards are all former GSDF.
Ah the twists and turns of sovereignty...and Article 9 in the modern age!