CHANIA, Greece - Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), U.S. Air Force personnel, and NATO allies are preparing for the annual NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI) live fire exercise, Nov. 18, 2020. The NAMFI live fire is designed to enhance interoperability among NATO allies and partners to increase readiness through the integration of land component air and missile defense capabilities.
NAMFI is a German led, Greece hosted exercise and is supported by The Netherlands. The NAMFI live fire takes place on the Greek Island of Crete and is conducted by more than 600 personnel from the U.S., Greece, Germany and the Netherlands. This year's live fire marks the return of U.S. personnel to the exercise after a three-year hiatus. On Monday, U.S. Patriot operators will fire four missiles from German Patriot missile platforms.
The mission is for ground forces to establish a fully integrated and partnered surface-based air defense operations cell and then conduct a live fire exercise, explained Netherlands Air Force Lt. Col. Rudi Snel, assigned to NATO Air Command Headquarters. Snel, who is also the Team Chief of the exercises evaluation team, said this will all be accomplished while being graded by a team of 51 evaluators.
“U.S. involvement in this exercise is in part to increase interoperability and readiness alongside our allies in order to deter aggression in the region”, said U.S. Army Maj. Richard Smothers, an air defense artillery fire control officer assigned to the 678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the U.S.’ national representative here. He added that sharing experiences, tasks and information among allies increases readiness and lethality as a whole and is a valuable takeaway from the exercise.
U.S. and NATO allies will be participating in the exercise via force integration training by embedding in German Air Force Air Missile Defense teams assigned to Air Defense MissileWing 1. U.S. soldiers are integrating into German units, using German equipment to accomplish the mission as a single entity. Executing the exercise in this manner is intended to build partnership between NATO allies as well as give individual servicemembers familiarization and experience in multinational operations, even in the midst of a pandemic.