The AN/TPY-2 Radar, located in remote Shariki, Japan, is an advanced warning, land-based X-Band Radar capable of detecting a ballistic missile threat seconds after launch. This radar is an Army Space asset but falls under the command and control of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The radar in Shariki air base in Japan is about five miles from population of about 6,000 people in northern Japan.
In the spring of 2006 the AN/TPY-2 was brought to Japan and was stood up on the first military installation to open in Japan since World War II. The site is the size of five football fields and was chosen for its strategic location on the shore of the Sea of Japan adjacent to a Japanese Air Self Defense Base. Since the radar was operational in Japan within months of site selection, the initial location was very basic consisting of a grass field surrounded by a fence. Housing for site personnel did not even come to fruition until many months after the radar became operational.
Since these humble beginnings, many additions were made and many obstacles overcome to ensure the mission was never disrupted while constructing facilities that allow site personnel to live and work efficiently in Shariki. One aspect of the opening of this radar site that was given a great deal of emphasis over the years is the relationship between the people of the Shariki and the American Soldiers and contractors working there.
Since inception, the AN/TPY-2 Radar has played a vital role in the tracking of several real-world adversary missile launches. Its capability multiplies the effectiveness of the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications System adding valuable seconds to the decision making process between the time a ballistic missile is launched and when it is intercepted.
Initially, the site was controlled by the Army while the radar operations were primarily the responsibility of civilian contractors, but 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command made constant strides to ensure that the Army was ready assume full control over the entire operation by 2014.
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