By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Debra Thomas
The Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) located at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu, Romania, celebrated the fifth anniversary of its shift to NATO Command and Control, as a U.S. contribution of capability to the Alliance, August 19, 2021.
AAMDS Romania is under the operational control of U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet via Commander, Task Force (CTF) 64 based in Naples, Italy, and is a critical part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) which calls for ballistic missile defense (BMD) capable Aegis ships and Aegis Ashore sites to defend Europe against ballistic missile threats.
The EPAA is the United States’ voluntary national contribution to NATO BMD mission. Deterring future conflicts, it provides full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces from ballistic missile threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
“Aegis Ashore represents a persistent and enduring capability that transcends geographic boundaries and the domains of land, sea, air and space,” said Capt. Jonathan Lipps, Commodore, Task Force (CTF) 64, and former commanding officer of AAMDS Romania. “Daily, the Romanian 99th Military Base hosting Aegis Ashore and our Sailors in the AAMDS Combat Information Center generate Surveillance and (if required) defensive, kinetic effects in Low Earth Orbit to defend our partner nations. Aegis Ashore is the NATO Alliance conducting the highest of high-end warfare every day!”
Countering the threat of a ballistic missile attack from outside the Euro-Atlantic area is a collective security challenge that requires an integrated defense.
Aegis Ashore uses a defensive system almost identical to that used on U.S. Navy Aegis-capable guided-missile destroyers and cruisers at sea. The system is designed to detect, track, engage and destroy ballistic missiles in flight. It uses the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor, which does not carry an explosive warhead, but rather intercepts and kinetically destroys missiles.
"Our team of dedicated warfighters takes tremendous pride in marking this noteworthy occasion of sustained ‘on mission’ performance in defending the Alliance,” said Cmdr. Mike Dwan, commanding officer of AAMDS Romania. “Our presence is a collective effort combining support from several commands and agencies, most notably our great partnership with the Romanian government."
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.