FORT MEADE, Md. (WJZ) — A real-time missile detection system based out of Maryland warned U.S. troops about the Iranian strike at two military bases in Iraq before it happened, according to several reports.
The strikes were in retaliation of an airstrike that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani last week.
The early warning system detected the missile launches and sounded alarms, giving American personnel at the bases “multiple hours” to get to shelter.
That system, called The Defense Special Missile and Aerospace Center (DEFSMAC), is at a National Security Agency facility at Fort Meade, according to The Daily Mail. The program uses a network of satellites, radar and a system that detects heat signatures to identify missile launches in real-time. It’s the same system that watches for North Korea missile test, according to CBS News.
“Fort Meade is an intelligence and media epicenter for the Army,” Kris Osborn, a military analyst, said. “It is of incredible significance, particularly in a day where the future of warfare is being looked at as information-driven as much as anything else.”
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According to a declassified NSA report, DEFSMAC was launched in 1964 by the Department of Defense to help collect missile and space intelligence and to provide information on foreign missile and space events.
Officials also said that the U.S. was aware of preparations for the attack. It’s unclear if any intelligence identified specific targets or was more general.
In a press conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump said no Americans or Iraqi troops were injured.
Trump also said, “Iran appears to be standing down.”
“As long as I am the president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.