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Jan 28 2021

Allied Air Command exercises European Air and Missile Defence plans

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Planners and staff at NATO Air Command alongside colleagues from NATO Maritime Command, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE) participated in the European Air and Missile Defense Exercise the first phase of the NATO Exercise STEADFAST ARMOUR 2021 (STAR-21), January 25-26, 2021.

STAR-21 is NATO's premier exercise for the rehearsal of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) mission, executed from the operational to tactical levels, utilizing existing plans and procedures in a simulated scenario defending NATO European populations, territory and forces.

During the two-day exercise personnel focused on working with various NATO and US headquarters around Europe to plan and execute the NATO BMD mission defending against ballistic missiles attacks from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

The team have again delivered an outstanding effort, demonstrating our ability to react to emerging threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area

“The team have again delivered an outstanding effort, demonstrating our ability to react to emerging threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area,” said Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Allied Air Command. “NATO BMD contributes to NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence, exercises like these test our plans and procedures ensuring we are ready to deliver a truly coordinated and collective defence for the Alliance,” he added.

BMD planners brief Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command, on defence plans during the European Air and Missile Defence Exercise. Photo by Allied Air Command. 

In 2021, the exercise is taking place in conjunction with other NATO nations’ exercises, ensuring the readiness of NATO and national forces during the COVID-19 pandemic and Allied Air Commands ability to deliver this vital mission. Testing these plans in a realistic scenario assures NATO’s ability to deliver a credible Integrated Air and Missile Defence which is essential to the Alliance’s collective defence.

The integration of US and NATO commands, along with further improvements of the command and control systems, advances the capability and effectiveness of NATO BMD

"The integration of US and NATO commands, along with further improvements of the command and control systems, advances the capability and effectiveness of NATO BMD. STAR-21 marks a key milestone in the continuing U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach and NATO Missile Defense program,” said Vice Admiral Gene Black, Commander STRIKFORNATO and Commander U.S. Sixth Fleet.

NATO BMD is part of the Alliance’s core task of collective defence and its response against increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. NATO BMD is purely defensive and designed to defeat threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

STAR-21 is the principal missile defence exercise of the year for NATO, showcasing the fusion of sensors, weapon systems, and operators’ abilities to meet current and future threats to the Alliance.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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