Spartan Warrior 21-1 enhances joint interoperability capabilities

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

Spartan Warrior 21-1 finished at the Distributed Training Center, at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany Jan. 25-28. Spartan Warrior is the DTC’s premier tactical-level virtual Large Force Employment exercise.

This training provides a venue to forge strong partnerships in support of U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command campaign objectives of building alliance distributed training capacity and capability, enabling joint and NATO interoperability with the integration of doctrine.

“Spartan Warrior’s focus is to integrate fully networked operational-level command and control, 4th and 5th generation fighters, advanced missile defense systems, advanced strike systems, leading edge ISR (intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance) and UAS (unmanned aerial systems) technologies, and other advanced capabilities in either fully-distributed and/or co-located simulations,” said Michael Taylor, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Warfare Center exercise director.

This semi-annual training is conducted in the European environment and can encompass all phases of major combat operations.

“DTC strives to simulate the entire find, fix, track, target, engage and assess chain throughout the full range of mission sets,” Taylor said. “DTC provides all documentation and daily products that planners would expect to see from an air operations center. Units can decide whether to have the crews plan for themselves or exercise their mission planning cells as they would use in a MCO.”

The scenario varies based on the training audiences’ requirements and capabilities. Vignettes are built to meet specific unit training objectives as needed.

“The Warfare Center staff deliver subject matter expert role-play for every mission type conceivable and NATO participants offer the procedural diversity,” said Ash Glazsher, 51st Squadron exercise and synthetic coordinator. “Altogether, this allows the crew to experience a large scale battlespace, hone tactical skills and develop the procedures for working with multiple nationalities. Spartan Warrior was the first for UK Rivet Joint to work with the RNLAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force) Control Reporting Center, and this understanding is priceless for future NATO and coalition operations.”

The 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron, 679th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 50th Attack Squadron, Air Command, and USAFE-AFAFRICA Warfare Center worked with their coalition partners including the United Kingdom, Royal Netherland Air Force, NATO Airborne Warning and Control System, Latvia and Lithuania to meet training objectives.

“All levels of command and control, as well as the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance constellation are included, virtually when able, or synthetically developed and manned by DTC’s local subject matter experts to facilitate tactical unit training objectives,” Taylor said.

The DTC team showcased the facilities to the USAFE and AIRCOM staff to educate them about the Warfare Center’s capability to provide a venue for LFE training against a near-peer threat in a fiscally constrained environment.

“As we bridge the gap between operational and tactical-level exercises, there will be an opportunity for Senior Leaders to actively participate in the exercise as opposed to observing,” Taylor said. “We foresee, in the next couple years, an opportunity for general officers to participate as the Combined Forces Air Component commander.”

Spartan Warrior utilizes technology to bring the most realistic training to its members in order to enhance joint interoperability capabilities.

“Distributed synthetic exercises offer scenarios and subsequent training and exposure to crews that are impossible to achieve with any live fly exercise,” Glazsher added. “The AOR is not restricted by real life airspace constraints, the number of friendly and enemy forces cannot be replicated in a live exercise and any attempt to, would be astronomical in cost. This allows for experimentation for new tactics, techniques, and procedures without impacting safety.”