Bold Ambition II 2010 – NATO’s Air Command Ramstein Ready for All Missions

3 Jun 2010

French Mirage 2000C
"The roots of the ethnic conflict in East Cerasia go back centuries as the main ethnic groups populated the region and competed for scarce natural resources in a harsh environment. Klorid tribes from northern Cerasia migrated to an area south of the Sahara desert in search of water and grassland for their cattle in the highlands.”

This is one of the detailed descriptions in the scenario of the NATO Exercise Bold Ambition II 10 that was conducted at the Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein from 15 to 20 May 2010. About 450 personnel from 19 nations and 22 NATO and national headquarters conducted a computer-assisted Command Post Exercise to ensure the Joint Forces Air Component (JFAC) is fully capable of providing air command and control in a major contingency operation.

The scenario depicted a NATO force which deployed to the region about a year ago to enforce a cease-fire agreement between two warring nations and create a safe and secure environment. While initially the mission achieved some success, one of the nations in the scenario became increasingly hostile over time and decided to re-initiate hostilities in an attempt to seize parts of foreign territories. NATO was drawn into the conflict when the main aggressor, supported by another aggressor nation, attacked the Alliance forces. The multinational NATO forces had to defend themselves and their installations and capabilities, and eventually defeated the hostile forces.

The countries involved in this scenario are of course fictitious. None of them represent any specific real-world country. The exercise planning team created fictitious political structures and military capabilities for these countries in order to build up a realistic set of adversaries. This allowed the exercise participants to train the full range of potential missions including offensive operations, air defence, strategic and in-theatre transport and support activities. Of particular importance in this exercise was practicing the employment of joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in a realistic manner.

To ensure the value of the exercise, the HQ AC Ramstein exercise planning team started to develop the challenging scenarios in December 2009. Significant effort was made in building realistic intelligence products, mirroring those that would come from the various ISR sensors in the theatre. These ensured commanders and planners at all levels became fully versed in the role these capabilities would play in modern operations. These scenario injects consisted of a myriad of reports and messages, sent from the Exercise Control Cell to the JFAC similar to the situation our soldiers are facing in theatres like ISAF or KFOR. "It's not a programme or software that makes BANII 10 different to other exercises. It's the amount and variety of information provided. Some of them don't have anything to do with the current situation, some of them are unconfirmed rumours, some of them are nice to know, and some require immediate action,” said Colonel Stefan Walowski, Polish Air Force, the head of the HQ AC Ramstein Training and Exercise Division "It's the challenge to train the analytical capability of the involved personnel to distinguish all these pieces of information to then adequately advise key decision makers to decide on the best course of action." stated Colonel Walowski. During BAN II more than 120 Exercise Control personnel ensured realistic reaction in response to JFAC decisions.

Many NATO exercises focus on one end of the spectrum of contingency operations: humanitarian assistance, consequence management, initial entry operations, etc.—all of which are very important capabilities that must be practised and maintained.

BAN II 10 focused on the higher end of the contingency spectrum, with the emphasis more on traditional combat operations including air and missile defence, air attack and electronic warfare. The intensity and nature of combat operations within the scenario permitted the training audience to undertake a more rigorous and thorough testing of the Air Planning Cycle.

"NATO must prepare and practice the full range of air power capabilities. We currently emphasize Counter Insurgency, Peace Keeping and Initial Entry operations in support of the vitally important ISAF Mission. However, we must keep alive our understanding of the many other missions we require to ensure the defence and security of all NATO members, both at home and overseas.” said Air Marshal David Walker, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command Ramstein. "BAN II 10 brought together national and NATO competencies, not only airmen, but also sailors and soldiers sharing their knowledge and expertise to further improve interoperability,” he added.

 

For further information please also check HQ AC Ramstein web site at http://www.airn.nato.int/

High resolution pictures can be found at www.airn.nato.int/ban2010