RAMSTEIN, Germany – Exercise STEADFAST JUPITER 23, NATO's largest command post exercise (CPX) in 2023, ended on October 20, after two weeks of enduring work Involving 24 NATO Commands, 7000 participants, NATO warfighting operations from strategic to tactical levels across the Alliance.
At Allied air Command in Ramstein, Germany, more than 700 computers were interconnected during preparation enabling the participating NATO Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) staff to plan and control 2000 air sorties per day supporting Joint operations in a fictitious Article 5 scenario.
We were able to train Commanders and staff, through testing command and control procedures allowing us to orchestrate air operations at scale in an increasingly complicated battlespace
STEADFAST JUPITER 2023 (STJU23) has been the most ambitious NATO CPX to date in terms of both exercise complexity and the number of participating NATO Command and Force Structure Headquarters. In a nutshell, it has been a crash test for strengthening low- and high-intensity warfighting skillsets of NATO staffs using a multi-domain, multi joint operational area.
Parts of the JFAC at Allied Air Command - STJU23 enabled an unprecedented level of interoperability across NATO and contributed to demonstrate and develop integration of multi-domain capabilities. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
“There is no point in having powerful operational capability, if you are unable to ensure is is employed effectively,” said Brigadier General David Morpurgo, JFAC Director during STJU23 at Ramstein. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
The NATO JFAC staff planned planned and controlled 2000 air sorties per day supporting Joint operations in a fictitious Article 5 scenario. Archive photo courtesy Spanish Air Force.
“There is no point in having powerful operational capability, if you are unable to ensure is is employed effectively,” said Brigadier General David Morpurgo from NATO Deployable Command and Control Centre, who acted as the JFAC Director during STJU at Ramstein. “In the air domain, this requires an appropriately designed Air Command and Control systems approach, the need for survivability, redundancy and the ability to operate when we are denied of our communications. With STJU23, we were able to do exactly this and train Commanders and staff, through testing command and control procedures allowing us to orchestrate air operations at scale in an increasingly complicated battlespace,” he added.
STJU23 enabled an unprecedented level of interoperability across the NATO enterprise, and contributed to demonstrate and develop integration of multi-domain capabilities that the NATO Command Structure and nations can bring to bear to protect and defend Allied territory, while exploiting the NATO concept for Deterrence and Defence.
“The design of STJU23 was aligned to the new era of collective defence, focusing on NATO’s 360-degree security approach in all domains e.g. through the integration of fifth generation jets to maintain the very highest level of readiness,” concluded Brigadier General Morpurgo. “We also brought Integrated Air and Missile Defence back to the forefront of the discussion within the Alliance,” he added.
Completion of this important exercise reaffirmed the Alliance’s interoperability across its headquarters demonstrating it is ready to deliver effective command and control and capable of defending and prevailing against any adversary. STJU23 has been a stepping-stone to NATO’s 2024 flagship live exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER - in fact, the scale and the scope of STJU23 has set the conditions for all NATO Headquarters to tackle these largest NATO military drills since the end of the Cold War. The live exercise will bring together more than 40,000 troops, stretch from the Baltics region to Germany and once again be a testing ground for practicing intertwined NATO and national defence plans.