“Exercise RAMSTEIN DUST is a routine deployment exercise for the DARS,” said exercise detachment commander, German Air Force Colonel Mario Herzer. “We conduct this exercise twice a year to demonstrate the DARS’ deployment and operational capabilities to enhance NATO’s Air Command and Control capabilities wherever required and to strengthen NATO and national air surveillance and air control networks.”
“At the end of August, an advance team left garrison at Poggio Renatico, Italy, followed by the main body some days later,” said Colonel Herzer. “By road convoy we moved the DARS equipment to Campia Turzii, Romania, via Slovenia and Hungary and set up the exercise site. We also deployed two of our remote ground-air-ground communication modules with satellite communication equipment to the north and south of the country,” he added.
“Once the build-up was accomplished, my team began the test and integration phase ensuring all systems are up and running and data exchange is established with neighbouring air command and control units, fighter forces, Surface-Based Air Defence (SBAD) units and higher headquarters to be an integral part of NATO’s seamless Air Defence effort,” said Colonel Herzer.
We are now excited to finally start the live exercise
“We are now excited to finally start the live exercise during which my team will first act as a Control and Reporting Post, feeding into the Romanian Control and Reporting Centre (CRC). The second part will see us perform as a CRC, linked up with NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain, and the Romanian and Hungarian CRCs and fully integrated into the Southern Region Air Policing Area,” said the colonel. “During this part our Air Mission Controllers will execute training missions with Air Policing assets and SBAD forces like a Romanian Hawk battery,” he concluded.
The DARS is one element of NATO’s Deployable Air Command and Control Centre, which provides NATO commanders with a force projection capability for deployable surveillance and control of Alliance air operations. The team is able to deploy within NATO territory for combat, contingency or peacetime missions. Self-contained with equipment required for long-term 24/7 mission execution the deployable element can be tailored to the mission and to the task.