Less than three weeks after Department of Defense officials incorrectly stated that Guam was covered by the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) national missile system, the Department announced today that a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery would be deployed to Guam. The U.S. currently has two deployable THAAD batteries with a third undergoing training, all at Fort Bliss, Texas, and currently plans to buy a total of six, although this number could increase. Each battery consists of a TPY-2 X-band radar, up to six launchers (although the current batteries only have three each), each of which can carry as many as eight interceptor missiles, and a fire control system.
This would be the first operational deployment of a THAAD battery away from Fort Bliss. In June 2009, in response to indications of North Korean plans to test a long-range missile, Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that a THAAD battery had been deployed to Hawaii. However, this was only a temporary activation of THAAD components that happened to be in Hawaii at that time for testing purposes. As of late 2009, the U.S. Army planned to deploy both Patriot and THAAD batteries to Guam, but this never took place.
One interesting question that announcement raises is: Once the system is deployed in Guam, under what circumstances could it ever be removed?
 Viola Glenger and Tony Capaccio, “Gates Order Measures Against North Korea Missile (update2),” Bloomberg.com, June 18, 2009; Peter Foster, “N. Korea May Fire Missile At Hawaii, Report Says; U.S. Prepared: Gates,” National Post (Canada), June 19, 2009, p. A15.
 Amy Butler, “THAAD Turnaround,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 17, 2009, p. 38.