RAMSTEIN, Germany – The combined German-Netherlands PATRIOT detachment deployed to Sliač Air Base, Slovakia, has undergone trainings drills to integrate with NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence Command and Control System.
During the training event from April 19 to 21, 2022, NATO trained the different processes between the recently deployed German-Dutch PATRIOT fire units, the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) Zvolen, Slovakia and NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem, Germany in the event of an inbound air threat.
“Joint Interoperability and integration of military systems is of utmost importance these days. What we experience on today’s NATO’s borders explains and justifies our collaborative efforts in Integrated Air and Missile Defence”, said Major General Harold Van Pee, Commander of the CAOC Uedem. “The complexity of modern warfare necessitates these joint military defense exercises”, he added.
The combined German-Netherlands PATRIOT unit is deployed in Slovakia to bolster NATO’s defensive posture on the eastern flank. During the training drills the staff faced realistic air threats with simulated inbound fighters and cruise missiles for which they went through detection, tracking and simulating the engagement processes with the controllers at Zvolen and Uedem.
A Slovakian MiG-29 and several U.S. Navy EA-18G fighter jets flew in Slovakian airspace to simulate the air threats and electronic warfare jamming against the PATRIOT unit.
“It is important that we show that the Netherlands, as a reliable NATO ally, contributes to keeping NATO territory safe. The multinational cooperation shows that NATO can act as one and gives us extra striking power for a longer period of time”, said Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Wekking, Netherlands Detachment commander of the Multinational Air Missile Defence Task Force.
All Allied CRCs and Surface Based Air and Missile Defence (SBAMD) units are networked in a Tactical Data Link architecture, which eases swift coordination and expeditious tactical actions when deemed necessary.
In 2006, Slovakian Air Force fighter aircraft and the air controllers at CRC Zvolen became integrated under CAOC Uedem, Germany. The CRC and CAOC collaborated during the exercise to enhance Command and Control processes, and ensure rapid coordination and supervision in the future.