U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published November 20, 2020
U.S. Air Forces in Europe participated in a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) event with assets from U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Army Europe, and U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, in international waters and airspace around the Black and Baltic Seas simultaneously yesterday. The exercise was designed to train U.S. forces to integrate, operate and communicate while executing all-domain targeting operations.
The U.S. Air Force flew F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 510th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft from the 494th Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England, KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 351st Air Refueling Squadron, 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, and a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Additional Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance aircraft also participated in the exercise.
During the event, F-16 and F-15 aircraft conducted training scenarios utilizing Joint Air-to-Surface Missile (JASSM) employment tactics. The JASSM is a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile that is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended targets. Training to this capability enhances joint readiness and deterrence capabilities.
Additionally, two U.S. Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) from the 41st Field Artillery Brigade, conducted a rapid deployment to Romania followed by a live fire exercise. During transit, the 603rd Air Operations Center was able to provide notional targeting data to the Army HIMARS unit, exercising responsive cross-domain targeting processes.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. 6th Fleet also participated, including the USS Ross (DDG-71), one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and attached to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture, and one P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron 47, Commander, Task Force 67, capable of providing anti-submarine, reconnaissance, surveillance and search and rescue capabilities.
Finally, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe supported with an MC-130J Commando II aircraft from the 67th Special Operations Squadron, 352nd Special Operations Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England.
In an era of great power competition and in line with the National Defense Strategy, this event demonstrated our ability to converge assets from all domains to generate firepower inside an area that an adversary believes to be protected through anti-access, area denial technology, while also improving the readiness of U.S. military forces in Europe.