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Jun 22 2021

STRIKFORNATO hosts At-Sea Demonstration / Formidable Shield 2021 Distinguished Visitors' Day

OEIRAS, Portugal - Vice Admiral Gene Black, Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) and Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, hosted senior leaders from multiple NATO countries for a Distinguished Visitor (DV) event in Oeiras, Portugal, marking the formal end to Exercise At-Sea Demonstration / Formidable Shield 2021 (ASD/FS21), on June 22, 2021.

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Vice Admiral Gene Black, commander, STRIKFORNATO, delivers opening remarks during At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 Distinguished Visitors' Day at the NATO Communications and Information Agency auditorium in Oeiras, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trey Fowler)

"The Exercise represents the final piece in the STEADFAST ARMOUR 21 exercise package and stands as part of the larger NATO maritime strategic communications message, combined with STEADFAST DEFENDER 21 and BALTOPS 50," said Black. "Our exercises such as At-Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield demonstrate the Alliance's resolve and our capabilities to provide deterrence within the larger [Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area] framework."

Chiefs of Navies from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain; representatives from NATO Commands: Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Supreme Allied Command Transformation, Joint Force Command Brunssum, Maritime Command, Allied Air Command, NATO Communications and Information Agency; flag and general officers representing Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States were among the distinguished guests in attendance.

The chairman from the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum, the commander from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and representatives from the Missile Defense Agency and Qinetic were additional attendees for this year's DV Day event.

Exercise ASD/FS21, sponsored by U.S. Sixth Fleet and conducted by STRIKFORNATO, took place May 15 – June 3, 2021 at the U.K. Ministry of Defense's Hebrides Range located on the Western Isles of Scotland, and Andøya Test Center, Andenes, Norway.

The scheduled events for this year's iteration improved Allied interoperability in a joint live-fire, Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures. Allied nations practiced, demonstrated, and assessed their ability to share common tactical pictures, shared situational awareness, conducted NATO-level mission planning and engagement coordination, and exercised force-level pre-planned responses with capabilities and limitations.

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At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 Distinguished Visitors' Day in Oeiras, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trey Fowler)

In total, 16 ships, 31 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel from 10 NATO nations participated in the live training event. Ships from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. participated in the exercise.

This biennial exercise series is next scheduled to commence in 2023.

STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable headquarters that provides scalable command and control across the full spectrum of the alliance's fundamental security tasks. As part of that mission, STRIKFORNATO is responsible for integrating U.S. naval and amphibious forces into NATO operations.

U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Story by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO

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