NATO conducts Patriot missile life fires in Crete

New tactics, techniques and procedures were in the focus of this year’s major Live Firing exercise of the Alliance's Air and Missile Defense (AMD) forces, Ryan Chan reports on his Twitter account. In addition to range and combat-effectiveness, network centric capabilities characterise modern AMD forces. Therefore, technical innovation and the consistent orientation to dynamic mission requirements are both task and necessity.
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Firing of a Patriot air defense missile (Picture source: Twitter acount of Ryan Chan)

In a sealift operation, approximately 250 vehicles and more than 500 participating soldiers deployed to the Greek island of Crete. They established a multinational AMD Task Force to execute the central phase of this year’s high-profile exercise at the NATO firing range. While U.S. elements from 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and Royal Netherlands Air Force AMD troops joined the German Air Force on their three Patriot systems, the Hellenic Air Force had deployed two of their Patriot squadrons and an operations centre.

For the first time, command and control of the German-led live firing exercise was provided by the Surface to Air Missile Operation Centre of Germany’s AMD Wing 1 via secure datalink from its home base in Husum, Germany. Implementing robust reach-back procedures over a distance of 2,500 kms significantly contributed to the best possible use, expansion and effectiveness of the full range of performance of the AMD forces.

The exercise is also part of Germany’s AMD force certification for its future leading role in the NATO Response Forces, Ryan Chan concludes. “The acquired knowledge and skills are of high importance for our current and upcoming role as part within the NATO Response Force and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force,” said Colonel Andreas Noeske, Commander AMD Wing 1 and of the multinational AMD Task Force on Crete.