Exercise STEADFAST COBALT 2020 is NATO's largest Communications and Information System (CIS) exercise currently conducted by the NATO CIS Group from 14 September to 9 October 2020 involving more than 1,100 service members at NATO commands in eight member countries.
The exercise validates CIS connectivity and interoperability among units participating in the NATO Response Force (NRF). One example being worldwide data exchanges through communication among combat units of joint and component headquarters within the NRF structures.
Allied Air Command is on continuous standby to support both the Joint Force Command overseeing the active NRF in one year and the other Joint Force Command during its preparations for the NRF the following year
Steadfast Cobalt Exercise Project Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lamberti (standing on the right in the back) briefs his team Nico Schelpe, OR-8 Alexander Krockow and Eli Whisenant (from left to right). Photo by Sébastien Raffin.
As the NATO Command Structure Joint Force Air Component, Allied Air Command is on continuous standby to support the Joint Force Command overseeing the active NRF and, simultaneously, supporting the other Joint Force Command during its preparations for assuming the NRF responsibility the following year. As a result, Allied Air Command is continually conducting training to meet all NRF requirements. One of these requirements is the verification and validation of Air Power specific Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance interoperability for the stand-by period.
The STEADFAST COBALT 20 Team of Allied Air Command consists of more than 20 different Subject Matter Experts and several technical specialists from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) CIS Support Unit Ramstein. In addition to the local on-site team, Allied Air Command deployed an Air Command and Control expert to NCIA The Hague in order to support the NCIA Interoperability Test Directorate.
Through STEADFAST COBALT 20, NATO Allies remain united with a strong commitment and ability to defend the Alliance. This exercise will enable interoperability, skills and capabilities required to combat increasingly complex security threats in the CIS-domain. Allied Air Command contributes to these objectives for NATO Air Power within the NATO Response Force.