Joint Project Optic Windmill
One of the most challenging missions for NATO is Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD). Challenging, because this complex mission expands through all domains; it involves all services and requires flawless cooperation and collaboration between multiple nations and NATO entities. A successful execution of an IAMD mission depends heavily on interoperability, connectivity and a shared common understanding of doctrine, concepts of operation, tactics, techniques and procedures.
A complex mission such as IAMD requires extensive training of all entities involved, from the strategic level down to the tactical level. The lack of sufficient training opportunities, especially for the tactical level was recognized by air defence communities of the Netherlands, Germany and the USA. A dedicated team of experts from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the German Air Force and US European Command took the initiative as far back as 1996 to organize a small scale Theatre Missile Defence exercise, complementary to the larger US and NATO TMD exercises, called “Joint Project Optic Windmill” (JPOW). The initial goal of this initiative was to bring TMD operations to the lower tactical level to exercise and maximize the interoperability achievements between the three main Patriot users, the United States Army, the German- and Netherlands Air force. JPOW “1” proved to be an immense success and a much appreciated gapfiller in the existing exercise calendar. As a consequence, JPOW became a recurring event. Throughout the years, JPOW evolved and expanded its scope to Integrated Air & Missile Defence and matured from a small scale tactical-level initiative to the leading European Integrated Air & Missile Defence exercise for both the tactical and operational level.
Concept Development & Experimentation
JPOW distinguishes itself from other exercises by including a concept development and experimentation (CD&E) phase in the overall exercise set-up. This event, preceding the execution phase, offers the participants the unique opportunity to demonstrate, practice and validate the current status of the different Integrated Missile Defence programs and concepts. Doctrine, Techniques, Tactics and Procedures can be developed, tested, validated, improved and tested again in test bed environment.
Joint Analyses team
All actions and events with regards to the participants’ objectives for the exercise, or experiments during JPOW are monitored and analyzed by the Joined Analyses Team. The team is composed of contributions of all participating countries and entities. At the end of each day the observations are briefed to the training audience and problems encountered are discussed. This procedure results in a steep learning curve for the training audience already during the exercise.
The Netherlands Chief of Defence Staff tasked the Royal Netherlands Army to organize the 13th edition of JPOW, together with traditional and new partners. The operative word of this upcoming JPOW17 is evolution based on the predicted threat development and NATO’s newly developed concepts for Integrated Air & Missile Defence, introducing capabilities that are foreseen to complement Alliance inventory. Challenging new C2 arrangements will be tested and exercised. Most importantly, the lessons learned from previous JPOW’s will be revisited.
The following countries and entities contributed to JPOW 17:
Netherlands, Germany, United States, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Finland (CD&E), Sweden (CD&E), Denmark (CD&E), NATO CI Agency, Maritime TMD Forum, Great Britain (JFACC augmentee), Poland (JFACC augmentee), CCSBAMD, JAPCC
Capabilities and entities in JPOW17:
PATRIOT PAC 3, Terminal High Altitude Air Defence System (THAAD), AN/TPY2, C2BMC, Air Defence Command Frigate (ADCF), F-124, F-100, SAMOC, AEGIS Afloat and AEGIS Ashore, the Maritime Theatre Missile Defence Forum, Deployable Control & Reporting Centres (D-CRC) and ground based AMRAAM.
The dislocated participants like BMDOC (at CCSBAMD AB Ramstein), Warrior Preparation Center (WPC Einsiedlerhof), German Systems (Husum), Finnish and Swedish Systems were linked at national locations through the Combined Federated Battle Lab Network (CFBLNet).
JPOW 2017 provided an unique opportunity to experiment, demonstrate, practice and validate the current status of the different Integrated Air & Missile Defence programs and concepts as developed by NATO and the USA, as well as Doctrine, Techniques, Tactics and Procedures (DTTP’s) in use or in development by all services and nations participating in the exercise.
This year’s edition of JPOW, after 5 years of dormancy due to other NATO commitments, is the arisen ‘Phoenix’ signaling the new beginning for future editions as The Royal Netherlands Army expressed their intention to expand the numbers of participants (NATO and PfP), a larger involvement of NATO NCS and to explore ways to incorporate Space and Cyber Defence into the exercise.
The results of JPOW17 will be documented and presented to those interested in a JAPCC whitepaper. Keep an eye out for an announcement with regard to this on our JAPCC webpage.