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Allied Forces Begin Inaugural Exercise Formidable Shield 2017
Exercise Formidable Shield 2017 is a live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO on behalf of U.S. 6th Fleet, at the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Hebrides Range in the vicinity of the Western Isles of Scotland, started Sept. 24, 2017.
Formidable Shield is designed to improve allied interoperability in an IAMD environment, using NATO command-and-control reporting structures. This is the first time a NATO IAMD task group will be exercised at sea.
“Exercise Formidable Shield 2017 brings together partners and allies in a dynamic environment to hone and refine our missile defense capabilities, working together to demonstrate our combined ability to provide for cooperative security and collective defense in support of the NATO Alliance," said Capt. Shanti Sethi, commander, Task Group IAMD for Formidable Shield, and commander, U.S. 6th Fleet’s Task Force 64.
More than 14 ships, 10 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States are participating in Formidable Shield. Staff members from Belgium and Denmark are also contributing to the inaugural iteration of Formidable Shield.
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.
"As missile technology advances, maritime forces must be prepared to play an important role in providing swift and accurate defensive measures to deter adversaries,” said Sethi.
U.S. ships involved include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81).
Formidable Shield is scheduled to conclude Oct. 18, 2017. This exercise is planned to be a recurring, biennial event, which is designed to assure allies, deter adversaries, and demonstrate our commitment to collective defense of the alliance.
Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, based in Lisbon, Portugal, is a rapidly deployable, maritime headquarters that provides scalable command and control across the full spectrum of warfare areas.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with joint, allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.