RAMSTEIN, Germany – Exercise Tobruq Legacy 17, (TOLY 17) an exercise led this year by the U.S. air defence artillery, has begun in several locations throughout the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Romania.
The exercise, which continues until July 22, serves not only as validation of newly obtained capabilities, but provides an opportunity to improve the level of interoperability of multinational Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence systems forces.
Initially a trilateral exercise with Surface-Based Air-Defence (SBAD) forces from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States, TOLY developed in only four years to the largest SBAD exercise in NATO. Numbers of participating nations, personnel and material have quickly grown to 2,200 personnel and more than 800 vehicles from 13 Nations – and for the second time, NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, will be involved. Its role is to introduce and implement NATO standards, doctrines and tactics to take the exercise to the next level.
"CAOC Uedem's initiative to test and validate the connectivity and integration of NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) platforms and SBAD forces could have a significant impact on future NATO missions and could lead to a major change in how SBAD forces can be integrated into the existing NATO Command and Control Structure," said Lieutenant Colonel Thorsten Stratemann, from the CAOC Uedem training and exercise division.
The exercise setting has also been getting more and more complex. TOLY 17 will employ three ground operations centers, called Surface-Based Air Defence Operations Centres (SBADOCs), which are geographically dispersed in the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Romania. This represents a new level of complexity as it means integration of live weapon systems in parallel in three different countries and in both NATO regions, North and South. Two live firing phases have also been scheduled in Lithuania and Romania.
Story by HQ AIRCOM Public Affairs Office