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 Feb 2 2021

NATO members take part in virtual air operations exercise Spartan Warrior

RAMSTEIN, Germany – NATO members hosted by the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) took part in Exercise Spartan Warrior, a multinational exercise held at the Warrior Preparation Centre in Germany and various facilities around the world, 25-28 January. 

The exercise utilized the Warfare Centre's simulation assets to introduce air and ground scenarios for NATO participants. The scenarios tested the players' abilities in countering threats while exercising tactics, techniques and procedures for real-world events. During this iteration there was a particular focus on Air-Land Integration allowing Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTAC) and aircrew to enhance their skills in a real time virtual environment.

Through this, Alliance members can integrate our capabilities and practice how we would actually go to war.

"Across NATO and across the European theatre, participants are able to connect from their home-stations rather than travel to do an exercise," said Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command. "Through this, Alliance members can integrate our capabilities and practice how we would actually go to war." 

Spartan Warrior exercises are conducted semi-annually in the European environment and can encompass all phases of major combat operations.  All levels of Command and Control as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance processes are included virtually or synthetically developed. The exercise typically takes place over four consecutive days; all documentation and daily products planners would expect to see from an Air Operations Centre are made available. The scenario varies based on the training audiences' requirements and capabilities. Short exercise vignettes are built to meet specific unit training objectives as needed.

The Warfare Centre linked participants from Geilenkirchen, Germany, for the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System, Netherlands' Control Reporting Centres and Royal Air Force Rivet Joint operators from RAF Waddington, UK. Alongside local participation from Latvian and Lithuanian Joint Terminal Air Controllers and other US Army and US Air Force assets.

These types of simulations are invaluable for NATO to test the integration and interoperability of its forces; especially in the current Covid-19 situation.

"The Warfare Centre staff control the scenario as the hub while NATO participant's link to the simulation from their home-stations, meaning crews can engage in the training in real-time;" said Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command. "While virtual reality can never fully replace real-world exercises these types of simulations are invaluable for NATO to test the integration and interoperability of its forces; especially in the current Covid-19 situation," he added. 

Spartan Warrior exercises will continue to train NATO tactics, techniques and procedures including Air-Land Integration and 4th and 5th generation integration.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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Participants are briefed by the Warrior Preparation Centre staff on Exercise Spartan Warrior and the scenario. Photo by Sebastien Raffin, Allied Air Command. 
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Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command test the simulation which is linked in real-time to stations around the world. Photo by Sebastien Raffin, Allied Air Command. 
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Directing staff at the Warrior Preparation Centre make sure the scenario runs smoothly during the three days of Exercise Spartan Warrior. Photo by Sebastien Raffin, Allied Air Command. 

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