During an Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise in Sliac, Slovakia, from April, 19 to 21, 2022, Allies will train with the deployed PATRIOT missile defence system to enhance Alliance cohesion and interoperability. The exercise will involve increasingly complex scenarios, with the combined German-Netherlands PATRIOT battery on the ground working closely with the Slovakian and U.S. Air Forces. The Slovakian Air Force is contributing to the exercise with one MIG-29, the U.S. Marine Corps with F-18s from ?ask Air Base, Poland and the U.S. Air Force with EA-18G Growler fighter aircraft from Spangdahlem, Germany.
“The defensive deployment of the PATRIOT system to Slovakia, which borders Ukraine, is being conducted to enhance the protection of Slovakian populations and territory. This joint exercise will demonstrate NATO’s ground-to-air defence capabilities and promote the PATRIOT’s integration into the networked system that assures the safety and integrity of NATO airspace”, said Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander of the Headquarters Allied Air Command.
During the exercise, staff will test Command Post tactics, techniques and procedures to build robust communications between ground and airborne assets. They will execute a range of realistic scenarios including simulations of Cruise Missile attacks and multiple hostile inbound aircraft. All systems defending against airborne targets will be integrated and closely coordinated with NATO IAMD. It is essential to steadily train and practice procedures while coordinating IAMD processes among Allies to optimize Allied cohesion and improve readiness. The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has increased the requirement for a robust 24/7/365 collective defence posture.
NATO IAMD exercises in the East present crew training opportunities in conjunction with strengthening the Alliance’s defence posture. After an official Invitation of the Slovakia Government and following a decision by the Governments of Germany and the Netherlands, additional PATRIOT systems are deploying to Slovakia, where they will to contribute to NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (IAMDS). The deployment of the German-led bi-national Task Force will involve a number of steps, with the first phase already completed. Close cooperation between the Task Force and the Host Nation is essential and underlines the importance of Alliance cohesion and the requirement to frequently train together to enhance interoperability.