A headquarters unit was activated in Sembach, Germany, on Thursday to provide command and control for all Army air and missile defense forces within U.S. European Command, according to a statement from U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

The 52nd Air Defense Artillery Brigade headquarters will report directly to the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.

“I’m very excited to be taking command of the Army’s newest air defense brigade,” said Col. Bruce A. Bredlow, the 52nd ADA’s first commander, in a prepared statement.

“Our mission here in Europe is uniquely rewarding thanks to our ability to work closely with NATO on a regular basis,” Bredlow added. “We’re looking forward to building new connective tissue at the tactical level with our Allies and partners and expanding our combined capacity through interoperability.”

The new air defense brigade was first announced by President Joe Biden at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, in June. He said that the Pentagon was stationing more air defenses in Germany and Italy.

The 52nd ADA will assume responsibility for the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, near Ansbach, Germany; the future 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, which will also be based near Ansbach; the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, based in Baumholder, Germany; the 11th Missile Defense Battery, based in Turkey; and the 13th Missile Defense Battery, based in Israel.

The Army has been gradually expanding air defenses in Europe since about 2019, when the 10th AAMDC was upgraded to a one-star command.

Previously, the role of brigade headquarters over the air defense battalions in Europe was filled on a rotational basis by Army National Guard units.

“Adding the active-duty brigade headquarters along with the new 1-57 short-range air defense regiment to theater adds significant capacity to the U.S. contribution to the Alliance’s ground-based air defense in EUCOM,” the U.S. Army Europe and Africa statement reads.

Zamone “Z” Perez is an editorial fellow at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa, where he helped produce podcasts. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched humanitarian intervention and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

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