The purpose of this exercise is to improve Allied interoperability in a joint live-fire, Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures. This will include live tracking and firing over the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) network controlled through the Joint Tactical Data Link Management Cell based at Allied Air Command.
Ten nations will deploy 15 ships, a dozen aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel this year and an embarked staff as part of Task Group IAMD. The nations participating include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 21 is an important opportunity to further develop fighting capability and domain integration against a challenging set of realistic targets – a demonstration of our resolve to counter the threat
"Delivering integrated air and missile defence, and specifically ballistic missile defence, is one of STRIKFORNATO's primary roles on behalf of the Alliance," said Rear Adm. James Morley, Deputy Commander, STRIKFORNATO. "Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 21 is an important opportunity to further develop fighting capability and domain integration against a challenging set of realistic targets – a demonstration of our resolve to counter the threat."
The Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate ESPS Cristóbal Colón (F-105) is this year's designated flag ship for the execution of Exercise At-Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield 2021, scheduled to take place May 15 to June 3. Photo courtesy of STRIKEFORNATO.
At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield is a U.S. Sixth Fleet-led exercise, conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO or STRIKFORNATO. They provide a maritime battle Staff Operational Command directly responsible to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, delivering a rapidly deployable and scalable headquarters capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations and providing command and control of maritime Ballistic Missile Defence in support to Commander Allied Air Command and the BMD Operations Cell.
NATO's Ballistic Missile Defence capability is a system of sensors, missile launchers and command and control facilities. It combines command and control assets commonly funded by all Allies and voluntary contributions provided by individual Allies. The Alliance continues to expand its relationships and collective capabilities in the area of Ballistic Missile Defence in order to align efforts towards new challenges responding to the increases in missile proliferation and external threats evident in today's geo-political environment.