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 Nov 29 2020

Innovative multinational Tactical Live Firing of NATO Air and Missile Defense Forces at Crete

CRETE, Greece - In a multinational environment, German, Greek, Dutch and U.S. PATRIOT forces conducted a Tactical Live Firing exercise at the NATO missile firing installation (NAMFI) at Crete, Greece from November 19 to 23.

New tactics, techniques and procedures were in the focus of this year’s major Live Firing exercise of the Alliance's Air and Missile Defense (AMD) forces. In addition to range and combat-effectiveness, network centric capabilities characterise modern AMD forces. Therefore, technical innovation and the consistent orientation to dynamic mission requirements are both task and necessity. 

The acquired knowledge and skills are of high importance for our current and upcoming role as part within the NATO Response Force
         

In a sealift operation, approx. 250 vehicles and more than 500 participating soldiers deployed to the Greek island of Crete. They established a multinational AMD Task Force to execute the central phase of this year’s high-profile exercise at the NATO firing range. While U.S. elements from 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and Royal Netherlands  Air  Force  AMD  troops  joined 

the German Air Force on their three PATRIOT systems, the Hellenic Air Force had deployed two of their PATRIOT squadrons and an operations centre.

For the first time, command and control of the German-led Live Firing exercise was provided by the Surface to Air Missile Operation Centre of Germany’s AMD Wing 1 via secure datalink from its home base in Husum, Germany. Implementing robust reach-back procedures over a distance of 2,500 kms significantly contributed to the best possible use, expansion and effectiveness of the full range of performance of the AMD forces.

The exercise is also part of Germany’s AMD force certification for its future leading role in the NATO Response Forces. “The acquired knowledge and skills are of high importance for our current and upcoming role as part within the NATO Response Force and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force,” said Colonel Andreas Noeske, Commander AMD Wing 1 and of the multinational AMD Task Force on Crete. 

During the multinational exercise, all participants complied with extant proven hygiene and protection measures to contain further spread of the pandemic during this year's live firing.


Story by German Air Force Public Affairs Officer at NAMFI

Command and control during the multinational live firing exercise was enabled across 2,500 m between Germany and Greece via secure Internet and satellite connections. Animation by Bundeswehr / Nadine Kohl.
German and Greek Air Force liaison officers were closely coordinating and cooperating to ensure safe and harmonised live-firing on Crete. Photo by Bundeswehr / Dominik Fischer.
German Air Force and U. S. Army officers during the reloading of the PATRIOT launchers with a missile canister. Photo by Maurice Heck.
Tactical live firing on Crete with a Multinational PATRIOT Air and Missile Defence Task Force made up of German, Hellenic and Netherlands Air Force and U.S. Army personnel. Photo by Bundeswehr / Dominik Fischer.

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