The Pentagon said Thursday the U.S. will deploy air and missile defense capabilities as well as support personnel to Saudi Arabia following recent attacks against oil facilities in the country earlier this month. 

Jonathan Hoffman, a top Pentagon spokesman, said the deployment includes a Patriot missile defense battery, four Sentinel radars and about 200 additional troops.

Patriot air defense units are popular Foreign Military Sales (FMS) items. Photo: Raytheon.

“This deployment will augment the kingdom’s air and missile defense of critical military and civilian infrastructure. This deployment augments an already significant presence of U.S. forces in the region,” Hoffman said in a statement.

Deployment details arrive following a press briefing last Friday with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, during which they announced the U.S. had been discussing capability support with Saudi officials following the attacks.

“The attack on September 14th against Saudi Arabian oil facilities represents a dramatic escalation of Iranian aggression,” Esper said last Friday. “In response to the kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense.  We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves.”

Esper has also approved putting further support on “Prepare To Deploy Orders,” to include additional troops, two Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“It is important to note these steps are a demonstration of our commitment to regional partners, and the security and stability in the Middle East. This follows the Secretary and Chairman’s extensive outreach to partners in the region, and around the globe,” Hoffman said. “Other countries have called out Iranian misadventures in the region, and we look for them to contribute assets in an international effort to reinforce Saudi Arabia’s defense.”