Allied Forces Practice Missile Defence Skills during Exercise Formidable Shield 2019
During exercise Formidable Shield 19, a United States Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon takes off at RAF Lossiemouth, United Kingdom, carrying an AQM-37D Jayhawk. The AQM is an air-launched supersonic drone used as a target for NATO forces during the exercise in a live-fire integrated air and missile defense exercise.
Photo by Staff Sergeant John McRell, U.S. Air Force
May 13, 2019
RAMSTEIN, Germany – Exercise Formidable Shield 2019, a multinational live-fire integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) exercise conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO on behalf of U.S. 6th Fleet, is taking place at the Hebrides Range in the vicinity of the Western Isles of Scotland from 7 to 19 May 2019.
The purpose of Formidable Shield is to improve Allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile (IAMD) environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures. During the exercise, Allied participants conduct multi-domain operations and practice tracking and engagement procedures of subsonic and supersonic targets.
Nine Allies – Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are contributing 13 ships, more than 10 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel to the exercise. Belgium and Germany are supporting the exercise with staff officers embarked with Task Group IAMD.
As the NATO authority responsible for overseeing NATO IAMD, Allied Air Command participates with the Ballistic Missile Defence Operations Centre at Ramstein, Germany, providing command and control of engagements. NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force aircraft will also be employed during the exercise to deliver air command and control training and airspace deconfliction for exercise participants. The Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, is responsible for coordinating exercise flying activities with real-world activities e.g. by issuing the exercise’s initial Air Tasking Order and special instructions.
Participating nations practice, demonstrate, and assess their ability to share common tactical pictures, share situational awareness, conduct NATO-level mission planning and engagement coordination, and exercise force-level, pre-planned responses with capabilities and limitations.
Exercise Formidable Shield is planned to be a recurring, biennial event, which is designed to assure Allies, deter adversaries, and demonstrate our commitment to collective defence of the Alliance.
Story based on information provided by U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs Office