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Largest European Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise ends

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office with input from JPOW Public Affairs Office

Joint Project Optic Windmill 2023 (JPOW23) - and with it the largest European Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise - concluded in Vreedepeel, the Netherlands on March 29, 2023.

JPOW is a Dutch-led exercise series conducted every other year since 1996; this year, 1,000 military personnel from 22 Nations participated and trained combined air defence capabilities in a digital environment. NATO’s exercises Steadfast Armour 23 (STAR23) and Ramstein Century (RACE23) were integrated into JPOW23, exploiting synergies of the IAMD community. This year Romania and Lithuania changed from observers to active participants for the first time.

From March 22 to 29, international participants executed an IAMD scenario testing and verifying procedures from peacetime to crisis, from the strategic level down to the execution of plans at the tactical level. The goal was to analyse, react and interact in a combined setting.

 

Joint Project Optic Windmill 2023 (JPOW23) - and with it the largest European Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise - concluded in Vreedepeel, the Netherlands on March 29, 2023.
Even for a computer assisted exercise without live-fly activities, extensive preparations are required and a communications network needs to be established. Photo courtesy Netherlands Armed Forces.

 

“The Air Dimension offers a variety of possibilities, and the training of an integrated NATO Air and Missile Defence is essential,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jörg Treiber, Deputy Director of the Joint Force Air Component. “Finding the most integrated, adaptable, flexible, responsive and high-tempo solution to defend against an air and missile threat plays a central role in protecting Alliance territory and people”, he added.

During the exercise, all participants from national, multinational and NATO units got together to analyse the defensive measures with which the air defenders responded to the rehearsed threat situations. Subsequently, they refined their systems and tactics, techniques and procedures for the following day of the exercise to be effective across all layers and ranges.
In year two after the invasion of Ukraine, JPOW23 has been “red-hot” in the training, simulating a response to high-tech ballistic weapons, drones and supersonic missiles. The missile defence proved effectiveness when conducted jointly and combined, as a group of Allies and with a variety of different systems on multi layers.

According to Brigadier General Volker Samanns, Commander Surface-Based Units and JPOW23 Exercise Director, an integrated and interoperable Surface-Based Air Defence that is effective across all altitudes is more important than ever, and JPOW offers ideal opportunities to train how to achieve this in the international context.

 

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