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Joint Project Optic Windmill looks at synchronising Allied Integrated Air and Missile Defence efforts

VREDEPEEL, The Netherlands - Led by the Netherlands and Germany, exercise Joint Project Optic Windmill 2019 (JPOW 19) is conducted at the Lieutenant General Best Barracks, home of the Netherlands Ground-Based Air Defence Command, in The Netherlands. The exercise provides a venue for Allies to test, train and review procedures coordinating Integrated Air and Missile Defence efforts from 3-28 March.

NATO Ballistic Missile Defence is one element of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence which covers all measures that contribute to deter any air and missile threat in order to protect populations, territory and forces of NATO Allies against the full spectrum of air and missile threat. In addition, the protection of Allied forces against air and missile attacks within a theatre of operations is a key prerequisite for successful joint operations. For this purpose, Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence resources are employed to protect deployed Allied forces against incoming hostile air and missile threats so they can safely execute their missions in that area.

"In case these two areas of Integrated Air and Missile Defence are overlapping, special considerations are required to deconflict and synchronise Allied efforts – JPOW 19 offers a great opportunity to research and look into the way ahead,” said German Lieutenant Colonel Jörg Treiber, subject matter expert at the Competence Centre Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence, Ramstein, Germany.

The Competence Centre is one contributor to JPOW 19, an exercise bi-nationally organized by the German Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Army and supported by elements from the NATO Command Structure and Centres of Excellence, the United States European Command, the United States Missile Defence Agency and the Royal Netherlands Navy, and Air Force. NATO’s Partner Sweden is participating in the concept and development phase to test their interoperability and interconnectivity within NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence arena.

Exploiting the concept of Integrated Air and Missile Defence and lessons learned from previous iterations, JPOW 19 explores synchronisation of NATO Ballistic Missile Defence efforts comprised of the United States European Phased Adaptive Approach and other Allies’ national resources  for Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence operations within the Alliance. In addition it is linked to NATO's exercise STEADFAST ARMOUR which addressed NATO Ballistic Missile Defence at a higher level within the Alliance, however in the same area as JPOW.

JPOW includes ground-, space- and sea-based air defence weapon systems, sensors and command and control units from United States, Germany and the Netherlands including PATRIOT, Terminal High Altitude Air Defence System or THAAD, AN/TPY2 radar, AEGIS Afloat and AEGIS Ashore, the Command  and Control Battle Management Communication System and the Surface-to-Air Missile Operations Centre. Other players are Italy, Spain, Norway and France with sensors, NASAMS and SAMP/T weapon systems. All participants are exposed to a realistic air and missile threat scenario, triggered by an advanced distributed interactive simulation network with both dislocated and co-located participants. Standardised tactical communications combining secure voice, datalink and shared command and control and information networks make up the command, control and communications structure. 

"JPOW 19 provides a unique opportunity in Europe to demonstrate, practise and validate the current status of the different Integrated Air and Missile Defence programmes and concepts,” said Lieutenant Colonel Treiber. "Participants employ established Doctrine, Techniques, Tactics and Procedures and test diverse approaches from all services and nations participating in the exercise.”

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by Competence Centre Surface-Based Air and Missile Defence

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