U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published September 15, 2020
U.S. Air Forces in Europe-led exercise Astral Knight 2020 is scheduled for September in Poland, as well as other locations in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Astral Knight 2020 is a joint, multinational exercise involving Airmen and Soldiers from the United States working with service members from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden.
The exercise is an integrated air and missile defense exercise focused on conducting defense of key terrain. Training will involve a combination of flight operations and computer-assisted scenarios.
Aircraft scheduled to participate in the exercise include U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-15 Eagle, KC-135 Stratotanker, KC-10 Extender, E-3 Sentry and B-52 Stratofortress aircraft, as well as Polish F-16, SU-22 and Mi-17 aircraft.
U.S. Army Europe plans to provide soldiers and equipment to operate the Patriot surface-to-air missile system out of Szymany Air Base, Poland.
This exercise aims to develop and exercise an enduring regional integrated air and missile defense architecture, command and control integration, coordination and interoperability of air and land capabilities with overlapping operations into the integrated air and missile defense enterprise.
“Astral Knight 20 builds on the lessons learned from last year’s exercise by enhancing our ability to execute a resilient, integrated air and missile defense enterprise,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa commander. "By integrating U.S. and ally assets, we are able to build greater awareness, making our capabilities stronger and more resilient.”
This exercise has been long-planned and while we are always ready to adapt to new situations, it is not associated with any current events.