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USAFE leads multi-domain targeting exercise in the Black Sea

Release Number: 020121

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa participated in a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) event with assets from U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, U.S Naval Forces Europe/U.S. 6th Fleet, U.S. Army Europe and Africa, U.S. Strategic Command, and the Romanian Air Force, in international waters and airspace in and around the Black Sea today.

The exercise was designed to train U.S. and ally forces to integrate, operate and communicate while executing all-domain targeting operations.

Romanian Air Force F-16 fighters flew alongside U.S. Air Force F-16s from the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, and KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England. Additional U.S. intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft also participated in the exercise.

During the event, U.S. F-16s 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. Romanian F-16s provided escort support. Training like this enhances joint readiness and deterrence capabilities among U.S. forces and their allies.

The 606th Air Control Squadron from the 31st FW and the 1st Combat Communications Squadron from the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, also rapidly deployed in support of the Romanian Control and Reporting Center. As the only U.S. Air Force CRC outside the U.S., the 606th ACS was able to integrate with their Romanian counterparts and execute tactical command and control in an unfamiliar environment on short notice. The quick integration of the forces demonstrated the ability to strengthen the collective defense and readiness of the region.

“Our forward presence and strong bilateral relationship with our friend and ally, Romania, ensures our ability to respond to any threat with confidence,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. “Enhancing our joint lethality is crucial to preparing Airmen to execute the mission.”

Additional U.S. assets included SOCEUR, whose participation included conventional and Special Operations Forces integration, such as close air support and simulated strikes on targets of interest. The U.S. Army 41st Field Artillery Brigade and the 10th Army Air Missile Defense Command, as well as a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon also supported the mission.

“The Romanian CRC participation bloomed into additional U.S. personnel deploying to Romania to employ C2 with the Romanians,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alex Riseborough, U.S. Embassy Bucharest, Romania, air attaché. “It was a U.S. first and a big step for our bilateral Air Force partnership with the Romanians.”

In an era of global power competition and in line with the National Defense Strategy, this event demonstrated the U.S. ability to converge assets from all domains and across NATO allies into the Black Sea to generate firepower inside an area that an adversary believes to be protected through anti-access, area denial technology, while also improving readiness and being operationally unpredictable.

U.S. military operations in the Black Sea enhance regional stability, combined readiness and capability with our NATO allies and partners.

For more information on this training exercise contact usafepao.pao@us.af.mil and usafepa.pastaffdutyofficer@us.af.mil.