NATO surface-based air defence community trains interoperability in major exercise

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Two major NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercises are combined with the largest European air defence exercise l from March 6 to April 1, 2023 providing for interoperability among Allied forces.

NATO’s exercises Steadfast Armour 23 (STAR23) and Ramstein Century (RACE23) are integrated with the Netherlands-led command post exercise Joint Project Optic Windmill 2023 (JPOW) exploiting synergies of the IAMD community.

The scenario simulates an aggressor with state-of-the-art weapon systems, high-tech missiles and drones to which the Alliance has to respond quickly and adequately defending against threats from the air. Almost all NATO member states have their own air defence capabilities to prevent a threat, but systems and operators need to train their interoperability together. This is why IAMD exercises are needed.

NATO’S IAMD is an interplay of multi-layer defensive systems, covering different altitudes and capable of creating protective layers over areas of various sizes. Applying strict procedures for deconfliction collision of simultaneous actions in the same area is key and prevent the use of unnecessary resources.

Participants include personnel from AIRCOM, MARCOM, STRIKEFORNATO and from headquarters across the Alliance. Deployed real-world surface-based air and missile defence systems are also tied in simulating effect: PATRIOT batteries from Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Romania and NASAMS batteries from Norway, the Netherlands and Hungary together with the US THAAD system, jets and vessels. They complete the multinational mix that trains to be interconnected and handle all threats under an established leadership. The tools and systems in various locations in the Western world will then include all levels from the single defence unit up to the highest NATO decision.

From the outside, only containers and tents are visible, but the advanced set of computers inside these shelters is the backbone of the complete simulated exercise. The main activities will take place at the Lieutenant General Best Barracks in De Peel, home of the Dutch air defenders offering participating nations the opportunity to share knowledge, connect systems, and exercise international procedures for integrated missile and air defence, again connected with the two-yearly NATO exercise STAR23 and the RACE23 at Allied Air Command.






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