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NATO tests integrated air and missile defense in the Baltics

NASAMS at Ramstein Legacy IAMD
Lithuanian Armed Forces photo of a NASAMS medium to long range surface-to-air missile defense system deployed for the maneuver

Fighters and surface-based air and missile defense (SBAMD) units from NATO ally and partner nations gathered in Poland and the Baltic States to take part in Ramstein Legacy 22.

Taking place between June 6 and 10, the exercise will include 17 nations and will integrate allied SBAMD units under NATO command and control.

“Given the current security situation following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, large-scale training exercises like this are, now, more important to NATO than ever
exercise Ramstein Legacy is Allied Air Command’s principal integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise taking place across Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia,” NATO’s Allied Air Command said.

The NATO IAMD system is a collaborative effort and a key defensive component of the alliance’s joint air power, which aims to ensure the stability and security of NATO’s airspace by coordinating, controlling and exploiting the air domain.

NATO said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in increased use of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and combat aircraft close to the borders of NATO nations. This increases the air and missile threat to NATO territory and populations, primarily due to miscalculation or loss of guidance or control. Exercises like Ramstein Legacy 22 provide allied units the opportunity to practice NATO tactics, techniques and procedures in a realistic multi-domain scenario.

Ramstein Legacy is taking place concurrently with exercise Combined Resolve XVII, which is in its final days. Combined Resolve is led by the US Army and designed to test nations across the European theater in their capabilities to defend against a major simulated attack.

Combined Resolve is a multinational exercise conducted at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, designed to test and certify brigade combat teams, as well as build interoperability with allies and partners.

Combined Resolve XVII features the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, with more than 5,600 participants from Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Poland on the battlefield.

Combined Resolve training aims to produce combat-credible US Army and allied and partner nation forces, ensuring the necessary readiness and lethality to defend against a near-peer adversary, the service said.