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
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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