RAMSTEIN, Germany - Vice Admiral Gene Black, Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), hosted senior leaders from multiple NATO countries including Deputy Commander Allied Air Command for a Distinguished Visitor event in Oeiras, Portugal, marking the formal end to Exercise At-Sea Demonstration / Formidable Shield 2021 (ASD/FS21), on June 22, 2021.
Our exercises such as At-Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield demonstrate the Alliance's resolve and our capabilities to provide deterrence and defence within the Euro-Atlantic Area
"The Exercise represents the final piece in the STEADFAST ARMOUR 21 exercise package and stands as part of the larger NATO maritime strategic communications message, combined with STEADFAST DEFENDER 21 and BALTOPS 50," said Vice Admiral Black. "Our exercises such as At-Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield demonstrate the Alliance's resolve and our capabilities to provide deterrence and defence within the Euro-Atlantic Area," he added.
At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 Distinguished Visitors' Day in Oeiras, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trey Fowler).
Vice Admiral Gene Black, commander, STRIKFORNATO, delivers opening remarks during At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 Distinguished Visitors' Day at the NATO Communications and Information Agency auditorium in Oeiras, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trey Fowler)
Allied Air Command served as the critical link during the exercise, integrating the complex sea, land, air, and space systems from multiple nations into a common operational picture. Allied Air Command's Data Link Management Branch operating with STRIKFORNATO, facilitated the connectivity amongst 15 Allied ships enabling the first non-USA Maritime ballistic missile defence capability in the Alliance's history.
In total, 16 ships, 31 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel from 10 NATO nations participated in the live training event. Ships from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. participated in the exercise.
This year's iteration improved Allied interoperability in a joint live-fire, Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures. Allied nations practiced, demonstrated, and assessed their ability to share common tactical pictures, shared situational awareness, conducted NATO-level mission planning and engagement coordination, and exercised force-level pre-planned responses with capabilities and limitations.