NATO Exercise Kicks Up Dust in Italy

Some 100 NATO airmen from 16 countries are practicing air surveillance and tactical air mission control at Gioia del Colle AB, Italy, during Exercise Ramstein Dust I 2015, announced alliance officials. These airmen are part of NATO’s Deployable Air Control Center, Recognized Air Picture Production Center, and Sensor Fusion Post, known collectively as DARS. For the exercise, which runs to March 30, DARS personnel and equipment relocated from their home base at Poggio Renatico in northeast Italy to Gioia del Colle on the country’s eastern coast, states NATO’s release. The exercise is allowing these personnel to train in different environments with realistic mission scenarios, said German air force Col. Christof Heite, DARS director. Thus far during Ramstein Dust, DARS personnel have practiced live and simulated control of various aircraft, including the Italian Eurofighter Typhoon jets stationed at Gioia del Colle.