Allied Air Command central to US-led BMD exercise Formidable Shield 17
Members of the Allied Air Command Ballistic Missile Defence Operations Centre were in charge during exercise Formidable Shield 17 for collating and coordinating Integrated Air and Missile Defence data at Ramstein. Photo by Sébastien Raffin, Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office
Oct 18, 2017
- Allied Air Command successfully accomplished support for the US-led Ballistic Missile Defence
(BMD) exercise Formidable Shield 17 from September 24 to October 18, 2017.
This tactical level BMD exercise was conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) on behalf of the US Sixth Fleet. Allied Air Command enabled the datalink architecture through NATO’ system of systems that can manage, communicate and provide decision-making information to NATO command entities.
A US exercise with NATO involvement, Formidable Shield 17 demonstrated the capability of Nations and the Alliance to execute live intercepts of missile threats using a complex system of sensors and shooters in defence of NATO Allies’ territories, populations and forces from the sea.
This exercise provided nations the ability to connect fire units and sensors to NATO’s data-link architecture. With the assistance of US Joint Interface Tactical Control Officers and through a complex architecture, Allied ships and aircraft were able to integrate surveillance pictures from the tactical to the operational levels of command.
For the first time in Allied Air Command history a fully Integrated Air and Missile Defence Picture involving joint assets was used to support a no-notice launch and simultaneous engagement of ballistic and air defence targets to test the live-fire version of the defence in depth concept of operations.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated with forces in exercise FORMIDABLE SHIELD 17; Belgium and Denmark also send staff members. In total, 14 ships, ten aircraft, and more than 3.300 personnel participated in this exercise. NATO AWACS sorties conducted important link integration and range safety functions throughout the exercise.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office