IAMD TTX, with the support from U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), brought together NATO Senior Military Leaders, NATO IAMD experts, and other national leaders with interest in this critical mission area.
These events are critical for commanders to understand the complexity of this mission area especially as future systems and new threats are present in the theatre.
This Exercise was part of the larger STEADFAST ARMOUR Exercise in 2021 and had a specific focus on the strategic aspects of the IAMD mission. It was a scenario-based exercise with the objective of building a common understanding of NATO IAMD operations focused on opportunities for Air-Maritime Integration. This year's edition focused on scenarios showing how NATO will advance the specific area of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) in the coming years, as the Alliance focuses on reaching Early Operational Capability for the BMD mission.
In 2021, the NATO Alliance will deploy new weapon systems and ships, all while upgrading communication networks to increase the lethality and capability of the NATO BMD forces. This exercise was critical in building understanding of how to effectively employ these new systems in support of the Alliance, including how to add these new systems to the architecture.
This year also marked the second year with a focus on the IAMD mission area as it relates to the defence of the Alliance. This was especially pertinent as NATO shifts focus to the new Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA) concept. IAMD is one of the key pillars of this concept focusing on the defence of NATO populations, territory and forces.
This exercise continues to evolve as the geo-political situation dictates new challenges and opportunities for the Alliance. The Commander of STRIKFORNATO, Vice Adm. Gene Black, commented on the event: "These events are critical for commanders to understand the complexity of this mission area especially as future systems and new threats are present in the theatre. The Table-top exercise laid out the strategic concepts to be executed later this year as the Alliance evolves to fight across multiple domains. I look forward to taking these discussions to sea in the final two parts of the STEADFAST ARMOUR Exercise with execution of IAMD concepts in the Joint Project Optic Windmill and At-Sea Demo/ Formidable Shield exercises later this year."
STRIKFORNATO plays an important role in this integration of efforts, as the headquarters is responsible for the command and control of the maritime portion of NATO BMD capability and other maritime forces, into the larger theatre IAMD efforts. This is one of the three roles the maritime-led command has within NATO, in order to deliver assurance, deterrence, and collective defence for the Alliance.