SUFFOLK, Virginia - Twenty-two participating nations, two observing nations and three international organizations convened March 11-16 to experiment collectively with policy and operational concepts with a shared objective to expand international relationships, develop regional layered defenses, and strengthen deterrence for participating nations and organizations.

The Nimble Titan 18 Conflict Event is the culmination of a two-year global integrated air and missile defense campaign of experimentation. In this event, participants respond to scenarios involving mock air and missile threats from notional countries 10 years in the future. Collectively, the multinational players produce concepts and solutions that can be used to influence real-world policy and military responses.

As Nimble Titan began, the leader of the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, or JFCC IMD, U.S. Strategic Command's lead proponent for missile defense, emphasized the importance of cooperation amongst the various nations and organizations.

"Make no mistake about it, we face some difficult challenges," said Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, JFCC IMD commander. "We share common adversaries that are growing their missile forces, in both capability and capacity. Many of these threats are transregional, with multidomain reach. These weapons pose a threat in each region of the globe. No one nation can keep pace to defeat all the current and emerging threats; our multilateral integration and cooperation are imperative."

USSTRATCOM is one of nine unified commands in the Department of Defense and is designated as the global coordinating authority for missile defense. In support of this mission, JFCC IMD, under the command of Dickinson, ensures available missile defense resources are used efficiently and effectively to support the Warfighter.

"As our missile defense capabilities increase, we are now able to see and engage beyond our geographic boundaries, but that is not enough," Dickinson said. "To deal with the evolving threat, we need to strengthen and exercise our allied and partner relationships. We must become more integrated, and develop interoperable, agile layered defenses.

"Nimble Titan is where that begins," he added. "What you do here directly impacts not only national policies; it also enables a future that encourages international cooperation from the senior levels all the way to the warfighters."

Nimble Titan has grown from six nations in 2008 to 24 nations and four international organizations from the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and North America regions currently. As participants became active during the wargame, they spoke of the virtues of working together to defend each other if the need arises.

"There are several important aspects to Nimble Titan," said Col. Adel Bin Sanqoor, United Arab Emirates national lead. "You get to look to the future and learn from other coalition partners and their experiences and challenges. Nimble Titan is the only event in the world that gets people together to expose them to multiple threats and experiment without any risks. Everyone is standing shoulder to shoulder with each other and learning how to be prepared for future threats."

Participants spoke about their role is as they worked together during the event. They also spoke of how Nimble Titan is beneficial to each nation and how they are focused not only on their own defense but also the safety of their neighbors.

"Nimble Titan is one of the experiments that brings together the higher leadership of nations who are not normally into the nuts and bolts of missile defense," said the Assistant Director of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre Madelein Spit. "The important thing with Nimble Titan is it is not the warfighters only who talk about missile defense, but it is the political leadership as well. The decisions that have to be taken before the war starts - those are the political ones, and this is an event where that comes out in the open for everyone to understand how to work together."