The 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, in conjunction with Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces and Dutch Air Defense Forces, conducted a tri-national live-fire exercise at McGregor Training Complex, Fort Bliss, Texas, Nov. 9, 2019. The purpose of Operation Shining Star was to improve interoperability while also validating Patriot surface-to-air missile systems.Operation Shining Star was the culminating training event for 11th ADA BDE's Imperial Crucible, a Mission Rehearsal Exercise, in order to evaluate two Patriot Battalions and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Battery, Oct. 15-30."Executing a Patriot live-fire exercise was identified as a first step into strengthening the partnership and getting to know each other's capabilities," said Maj. Peter Geurts, 11th ADA BDE's deputy operations officer and Netherlands exchange officer.Operation Shining Star came to be after an idea was proposed by Geurts and JASDF Lt. Col. Kojiro Kaneko, former JASDF liaison officer to 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command. Three years later the concept came to fruition in an incredibly successful live-fire exercise led by Lt. Col. Takeshi Murakami, JASDF liaison officer to 32nd AAMDC.Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment and Fire Unit 3, 802nd Patriot Squadron, Netherlands Ground-based Air Defense Command, participated in the exercise conducting the U.S. Patriot live-fire. JASDF soldiers executed a simultaneous live-fire exercise of their own air defense missile systems.While the 11th ADA BDE has had a longstanding partnership with the NLD GBADC, bringing the JASDF into the fold was the next logical step in an effort to establish an ongoing multi-national partnership. The focus of the joint training and cooperation between all three countries air defense experts led to the flawless execution of the live-fire event.For more information on the Imperial Brigade, please visit the unit Facebook page at