Missile Defence Interim Capability Handed Over at Allied Air Command Ramstein

On 21 May 2012, Head­quar­ters Allied Air Com­mand Ram­stein, Ger­many, took over the com­mand and con­trol sys­tems required to exer­cise lim­it­ed oper­a­tional com­mand of NATO’s Inter­im Mis­sile Defence (MD) capa­bil­i­ty. This capa­bil­i­ty allows NATO com­man­ders to con­duct lim­it­ed bal­lis­tic mis­sile defence plan­ning and to exchange infor­ma­tion with nation­al bal­lis­tic mis­sile defence assets.

Allied Air Com­mand Ram­stein, Ger­many
Source: NATO
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The Deputy Com­man­der of Allied Air Com­mand Ram­stein, Ger­man Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Friedrich Wil­helm Ploeger, for­mal­ly received the com­mand and con­trol sys­tem from retired Major Gen­er­al Alessan­dro Pera, head of NATO’s Active Lay­ered The­atre Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defence pro­gramme at Brus­sels, Bel­gium. The han­dover was pre­ced­ed by a three-day endurance test which was the last in a series of tests which proved that the inter­im capa­bil­i­ty was ready for oper­a­tional use. “This capa­bil­i­ty pro­vides sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness, sup­port, event report­ing and engage­ment mon­i­tor­ing via secure com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” explained Gen­er­al Ploeger, “when NATO decid­ed to build up a mis­sile defence capa­bil­i­ty it was decid­ed that we here at Ram­stein will be the sys­tems oper­a­tors and now we are up and run­ning. The NATO inter­im capa­bil­i­ty allows the alliance to exer­cise a lim­it­ed but oper­a­tional­ly mean­ing­ful and imme­di­ate­ly avail­able capa­bil­i­ty against a bal­lis­tic-mis­sile threat. It is the first step, but a real step, toward pro­vid­ing full cov­er­age for all NATO pop­u­la­tions, ter­ri­to­ry and forces in Europe.”

In Jan­u­ary 2011, a mobile sys­tem had already been hand­ed over to the mil­i­tary user at Com­bined Air Oper­a­tions Cen­tre (CAOC) Uedem, Ger­many. This van-mount­ed sys­tem now serves as a back-up for the MD equip­ment at Ram­stein.

Allied Com­mand Oper­a­tions