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 Sep 11 2020

Exercise TOBRUQ LEGACY 2020 – Integrated Air and Missile Defence Cooperation in NATO

RAMSTEIN, Germany – The Lithuanian Armed Force will host this year’s edition of the annual multinational NATO Surface-Based Air Defence (SBAD) exercise TOBRUQ LEGACY 2020 from September 14 to 25.

Allied SBAD units from the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the United States and additional participants from Estonia, Italy and Poland will train cooperation with specialists from Allied Air Command at Ramstein as well as NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centres at Uedem and Torrejón will train together at three training areas in Lithuania. Over two weeks they will continue advancing and refining their tactics, techniques and procedures to NATO common standards.

The key word for the TOLY exercise series is nteroperability - not only in technical terms, but also in terms of tactics and procedures

“The key word for the TOLY exercise series has been and still is interoperability,” said Major Peter Fajcik, Slovakian Air Force Officer and Allied Air Command SBAD expert. “Interoperability is indispensable if we need to bring our SBAD forces together to defend our territories. Interoperability not only in technical terms, but also in terms of tactics and procedures. The main goal during TOLY 20 is the transition from national defences to a coalition posture and handing over simulated air defence operations to a NATO-led set-up in the Baltic region,” he added underlining the contribution of the TOLY exercise series to the Alliance’s credible deterrence and defence effort.

An initial preparation phase will ensure the international participants are well settled and communications are established among the units. During the execution phase, the participants will be going through area defence scenarios to demonstrate their skills in a combined and coordinated manner providing effective and efficient SBAD within NATO’s chain of command. 

The Lithuanian Air Force project team headed by Lieutenant Colonel Vitalijus Sadrejevas worked with all participants to make the exercise happen and at the same time ensured compliance with required preventative and protective measures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year, even under extant restrictions, our SBAD operators will again hold the ground, protecting the sky in a professional and coordinated way during our main training event,” said Major Fajcik. “The Tobruq Legacy exercise series has been conducted since 2015 and is based on close cooperation between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the SBAD domain. The Host Nation Lithuania has provided excellent training areas and participating Allies will contribute their SBAD systems for this meaningful live exercise,” he concluded.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Impression from last year's Tobruq Legacy in Poland - a German Air Defence tracking a simulated enemy helicopter. Photo by Christian Timmig.
Life-firing of international air defence systems has been a major element of all Tobruq Legacy exercises. Here's one picture from last year's event hosted in Poland. Photo courtesy Polish Armed Forces.
During last year's exercise Tobruq Legacy in Poland, an SA-6 air defence system conducts live-firing training on the Baltic Sea shores. Photo courtesy Polish Air Force.

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