NATO Exercises To Expand, Practice Air Superiority Skills

Exercise Trident Juncture this fall will be a major NATO effort to validate concepts in its rapid reaction force, but the Alliance also will expand future exercises to practice rapid response and securing air superiority in a crisis, a senior NATO official told Air Force Magazine. Any NATO force could be “challenged immediately if you don’t achieve air superiority,” German Air Force Maj. Gen. Erich Siegmann told Air Force Magazine in a recent interview at NATO Air Command at Ramstein AB, Germany. Trident Juncture will help practice some of the skills forces need in such a scenario, such as air defense and intelligence gathering. The NATO joint force air component command node, at Poggio Renatico, Italy, will play a role in the event to validate its capabilities, he added. The live portion of the exercise should feature at least 200 combat fighter aircraft participating in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, in addition to other aircraft. NATO is building the NRF and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force into a rapid reaction ground force, but it is also expanding training and exercising for vital air capabilities in the coming years in events such as Trident Javelin, a regular large-force joint exercise, which will kick off in 2017, Siegmann said.