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DACCC Poggio Renatico Hosted AIRCOM Exercise APEX16


During the first week of February 2016, the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC), Poggio Renatico, Italy, hosted the Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) exercise Ramstein APEX for the third consecutive time.

APEX16 focused mainly on the NATO Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) function providing to the newly arrived staff at AIRCOM the first training opportunity in a JFAC environment and within their respective JFAC roles. This practical training comes after the Initial Functional JFAC Training, a course also provided by the DACCC.

More than 180 people deployed to Poggio Renatico for APEX16 - mainly from HQ AIRCOM at Ramstein, Germany, the Combined Air Operations Centres at Uedem, Germany, and Torrejon, Spain, and the DACCC as well as from the NATO Force Structure and other National Air Forces.

The personnel participating in APEX16 were split into two main components: the Primary Training Audience (PTA) and the Exercise Direction and Exercise Control (EXDIR/EXCON) staff. The "Mission Ready Qualified” EXDIR/EXCON members were made available from all AIRCOM organisations mentoring and supervising the PTA, step-by-step taking them into the processes and functions of their respective JFAC roles.

APEX16 is a Command Post Exercise/Synthetic Exercise (CPX/SYNEX) that uses a special fictitious scenario to maximize training in the JFAC roles allowing flexibility and adaptability accommodating the exercise specifications and training objectives.

In his farewell speech DACCC Commander, Royal Netherlands Air Force Major General Andreas Kraak, who assumed command on the 1 January 2016, addressed the APEX16 participants underlining the necessity and importance for NATO to continue having the exercise. "APEX16 is a unique opportunity for training and interoperability among personnel from different Air Forces,” he said. "In APEX16 it is essential to be adequately ready for the real operations.” The DACCC Commander also awarded Certificates of Appreciation to 14 superior performers who contributed greatly to the very positive outcome of APEX16. All participants met well over 90 percent of more than 70 established training objectives. A most successful APEX16 exercise held at the DACCC Poggio Renatico was last, but not least, excellently enabled by the outstanding support from the local NATO Communications and Information Agency detachment and the co-located Italian Air Force Air Operation Command.

Story by LtCol Nicola Bolzan and Maj William Evans, DACCC Poggio Renatico

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