Organized under the auspices of NATO, the Ramstein Guard exercise took place in the airspace of the Czech Republic, exposing more than 200 participants to an EW environment in which they had to operate, protect themselves, ensure mission accomplishment and defend against a simulated adversary.
The Ramstein Guard exercise presents an indisputable contribution to the readiness of our forces
“You never know in advance what type of jamming the enemy will use and whether your own radar device or aircraft is able to respond to this threat. That is why we test our limits and our technicians, operators and pilots put their capabilities to the test," said the deputy coordinator of the exercise, Lieutenant Colonel Petr Závorka, adding that the annual exercise is always based on a pre-programmed simulated situation according to a prepared scenario.
Managed from NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, the tactical control was provided by the Czech Control and Reporting Centre at Hlavenec. “Operational personnel, including Air Force Combat Control Team, regularly practice conducting combat operations in an EW environment,” said Captain Radek Škuta, an officer at Hlavenec. “This means working with degraded or jammed radar communications and signals. It is also a good opportunity for us to train our cooperation with international
participants," he added referring to the fact that the Ramstein Guard is part of the NEWFIP (NATO Electronic Warfare Force Integration Programme).
"Modern military operations are conducted in an increasingly complex electromagnetic environment. Conducting our operations under EW conditions is one of the standard training activities of the Czech Air Force. For this purpose, we cooperate with the 53rd Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Regiment,” said Lieutenant Colonel Závorka. The priority and task of participating Czech troops was to maintain a continuous overview of the air situation; therefore, the participants were supposed to identify the electronic jamming activity coming both from ground and air. Moreover, they were to effectively counter this action while respecting protective measures.
NATO created a jamming environment for the exercise and cooperated with the civilian contractor Draken Europe which provided their Dassault Falcon 20 aircraft that was based in Čáslav Air Base precenting radar and electronic challenges for participating aircraft. To add complexity to the simulated jamming environment, NATO’s Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS) deployed a ground jammer Mini Radar Van.
"For the Czech Air Force, the Ramstein Guard exercise represents an indisputable contribution to the readiness of our forces and will remain an integral part of their training," Lieutenant Colonel Závorka concluded.