Oeiras, Portugal - Exercise Formidable Shield 2019, a live-fire integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) exercise conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) on behalf of U.S. 6th Fleet, started on 7 May 2019 at the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s Hebrides Range in the vicinity of the Western Isles of Scotland.
The purpose of Formidable Shield is to improve Allied interoperability in a live-fire IAMD environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures.
Nine nations - including Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are contributing 13 ships, more than 10 aircraft, and approximately 3300 personnel to the exercise. Belgium and Germany will support the exercise with staff officers embarked with Task Group IAMD.
"Exercise Formidable Shield demonstrates the United States and our maritime Allies high end war fighting capability in integrated air and missile defence. This significant investment of resources, time, and personnel ensures we are ready to deploy and operate anywhere, anytime, to defend the Alliance and deter aggression," said Vice Admiral Lisa M. Franchetti, Commander of STRIKFORNATO and U.S. 6th Fleet. "These maritime operations provide a tremendous opportunity to enhance our interoperability and test our capabilities as we collectively work to maintain a safe, secure, and prosperous European region.”
Participating nations will practice, demonstrate, and assess their ability to share common tactical pictures, share situational awareness, conduct NATO-level mission planning and engagement coordination, and exercise force-level, pre-planned responses with capabilities and limitations.
Formidable Shield is scheduled to conclude on 19 May 2019. This exercise is planned to be a recurring, biennial event, which is designed to assure Allies, deter potential adversaries, and demonstrate our commitment to the collective defence of the Alliance.