Inaugural Multilateral Air Domain Awareness, Defense Design Workshop enhances regional command, control structure

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. John Reeves
  • Pacific Integrated Air & Missile Defense Center

The Pacific Integrated Air & Missile Defense Center, or PIC, hosted the inaugural Multilateral Air Domain Awareness and Defense Design Workshop in El Paso, Texas, Sept. 25-30.

The groundbreaking event, held in conjunction with support from the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command Fort Bliss, Texas, the 94th AAMDC, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii, and Joint Ballistic Missile Defense Training Center or JBTEC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, brought together air and missile defense operators and subject matter experts from nine Asia-Pacific and European nations, including participants from Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines and Thailand.

The event also brought together U.S. Army air defenders from the multiple geographic combatant commands, including the 94th AAMDC from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and the 10th AAMDC, Sembach Air Base, Germany, from U.S. European Command. Additionally, the 32d AAMDC, which can support any war-fighting combatant command, attended the event representing the U.S. Army Forces command.

The PIC designed the event for participants to gain a greater shared understanding of a regional command and control structure and the delegation of authorities each nation could employ. JBTEC provided two days of academics, discussing an overview of IAMD, the Science of IAMD, Systems Architecture, the current threat environment, and Critical Asset List and Defended Asset List development.

U.S. Army Col. Rosanna Clemente, the 10 AAMDC G3 operations officer, who has first-hand experience working with the Ukrainians on the European Eastern Flank, referenced this as a “unique event,” and “and ability to ask questions with the attending partners and allies.”

“The defense design workshop is an opportunity to create innovative solutions to achieve a very specific effect. It may be enabling maneuver in combat operations or protecting critical infrastructure – the defense design helps identify requirements and protection priorities to develop an integrated and layered solution,” COL Clemente continued, as she shared how Ukraine successfully integrated several Western donated air defense systems with their own capabilities to defend and protect the communities and homes of their citizens in Kyiv.

“The best thing is for us to share information,” said U.S. Army Col. Haileyesus Bairu, the 32nd AAMDC operations officer, while sharing his own operational experience of kinetic defense designs in UAE and Saudi Arabia. “We need to continue holding forums like this, so we all can understand where we fit in with each other’s designs.”

The participants utilized JBTEC lessons to develop their own defense for a fictional scenario, that pinned a notional alliance against a theoretical near-peer threat. This provided valuable lessons learned about information sharing and the synergies gained from a common defense strategy against an array of air threats, a variety of ballistic and cruise missiles and unmanned aerial systems. The teams processed their own critical asset lists, and then discussed the use of passive defense measures for those unable to be actively defended.

The week of shared understanding between like-minded Allies and partners concluded with the observation of the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces and Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target, also known as PATRIOT, and Chu-Surface to Air Missile, or Chu-SAM, live fire exercise at McGregor Range on Fort Bliss, New Mexico.

“JASDF and JGDSF’s hospitality and demonstration of mastery of their lower tier missile defense systems during the Road March and Chu-SAM and Patriot live-fire events drove home the importance of the lessons and discussions held during the week,” PIC Director Col. Lynn Savage stated. “Every attendee I talked to was totally impressed by Japan’s professionalism and expertise in missile defense and considered the live fire a perfect capstone to a highly fruitful week.”

The Japanese Annual Service Practice (ASP) is an annual exercise held on the range. The exercise intends to improve the capability of the JASDF PATRIOT system, and the JGSDF Chu-SAM system.

Air defense is a complex, multi-domain task and is most effective when our Allies and partners work together.

Based on the resounding success of the event, planning has already begun for two multilateral, in-person events during 2024.

“The strength is in us coming together,” Maj. Gen. Erich Novak, the Mobilization Assistance to the Commander, Pacific Air Forces, said as he provided closing comments at the event. “We need to come together as a coalition with our allies and partners in the Indo Pacific making it undeniable to our adversaries our commitment, shared understanding, and relentless resolve to defend our region and our way of life. Stronger the deterrence, the higher the certainty our collective and individual sovereignties will remain intact, and the Indo Pacific free and open, peacefully.