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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > November
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 22, 2005


Fact Sheet on Containing the Threat from Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS)

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and the Office of Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation have released a new fact sheet, "The MANPADS Menace: Combating the Threat to Global Aviation from Man-Portable Air Defense Systems."

Available at www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/fs/53558.htm, or http://10.4.32.12/t/np/acw/acw.htm, the fact sheet provides a brief description of MANPADS, commonly referred to as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, their origins and capabilities, and summarizes the United States’ bilateral and multilateral efforts to work with other countries and international organizations to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminals, terrorists and other non-state actors. It also provides examples of Department of State successes in working with other countries to destroy their excess MANPADS.

The potential danger from MANPADS in the wrong hands is real, not theoretical. The fact sheet contains examples of incidents as early as 1978 in which civilian aircraft were deliberately targeted by groups that had obtained these short-range surface-to-air missiles.

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (www.state.gov/t/pm/wra) and the Office of Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction (www.state.gov/t/np/acw) lead the Department of State’s efforts to stem illicit trafficking in MANPADS. The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement manages programs to destroy or secure MANPADS that pose a proliferation threat. The Office of Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction engages with foreign governments to promote rigorous standards for MANPADS transfers. Both coordinate closely with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (www.dtra.mil/toolbox/directorates/osi/programs/smarms/liaison.cfm) to assist foreign governments with improving the physical security of stockpiled MANPADS and other types of weapons.

2005/1096


Released on November 22, 2005

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