NATO deployable control unit to support German-led exercise Air Defender

Story by Depoyable Air Command and Control Centre Public Affairs Office

The deployable control unit – DARS – began its support for DEU-led exercise Air Defender 2023 on May 19 by preparing a convoy and move mission-essential equipment to Germany.

Underscoring NATO’s readiness an ability to deploy and air surveillance and control capability across large distances, the team at NATO’s Deployable Command and Control Centre (DACCC) packed up its NATO Deployable Air Control Centre, Recognized Air Picture Production Centre and Sensor Fusion Post (DARS) and transported it by road move from Poggio Renatico, Italy, to Germany, some 1200 km north of the DACCC’s home base. This was the beginning of the unit’s bi-annual deployment exercise Ramstein Dust 23. During this exercise, the DARS will be integrated into the air control arrangements of the German-led multinational exercise Air Defender 2023.

“NATO’s decision to relocate the DARS was driven by several factors,” said Brigadier General David Morpurgo, the DACCC Deputy Commander. “Firstly, the decision to participate in the largest live air exercise in Europe, Air Defender 2023. Secondly, the need to demonstrate readiness and agility in response to potential threats. Given the unpredictable global security situation, NATO needs to ensure that its military capabilities are always ready to deter and defend its territory from any potential threat. Thirdly, the opportunity allows us to improve interoperability and cooperation among NATO member countries,” General Morpurgo concluded.

“This deployment took place overland and involved approximately 150 DACCC personnel from 16 NATO countries, more than 300 tons of equipment in ten containers, six operational shelters and three link support shelters, seven antenna systems and five tents to house command and control functions,” General Morpurgo said. “Our goal in Exercise Ramstein Dust 23 is to improve interoperability and cooperation among the member countries of NATO, to test the operational readiness of the DARS at a new location and to demonstrate its capabilities,” he added.

The DARS is a key component of the DACCC. As a system it provides a deployable component enhancing NATO’s air command and control organisation to effectively detect and respond to threats. It comprises various components such as intelligence and surveillance capabilities, air defence systems and command and control structures. It is a mobile surveillance and control centre that can be rapidly deployed to support NATO air operations integrated into the Alliance’s air command and control networks.



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