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Allied Forces Begin Exercise Formidable Shield 2019

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs | May 7, 2019

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy —

Exercise Formidable Shield 2019, 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, started May 7, 2019 at the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Hebrides Range in the vicinity of the Western Isles of Scotland.

The purpose of Formidable Shield is to improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile (IAMD) environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures.

Nine nations - including Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are contributing 13 ships, more than 10 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel to the exercise. Belgium and Germany will support the exercise with staff officers embarked with Task Group IAMD.

"Exercise Formidable Shield demonstrates the United States and our allied maritime partners high end war fighting capability in integrated air and missile defense. This significant investment of resources, time, and personnel ensures we are ready to deploy and operate anywhere, anytime, to defend the alliance and deter aggression," said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO. "These maritime operations provide a tremendous opportunity to enhance our interoperability and test our capabilities as we collectively work to maintain a safe, secure, and prosperous European region.”

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.

“Exercise Formidable Shield 2019 will once again help us refine our air and missile defense capabilities with our partners and allies by training together and demonstrating our ability to ensure the cooperative security and collective defense 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.

U.S. ships participating include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship, USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13).

“The Roosevelt crew is so excited about participating in Exercise Formidable Shield 2019,” said the ship’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Matthew Molmer. “It will allow us to showcase the training we’ve had to date and work closely with our NATO partners.”

Formidable Shield is scheduled to conclude May 19, 2019.  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.