Globally, rogue actors and adversaries are testing the U.S., allies, and partners with the proliferation and technological advancements of ballistic and cruise missiles, hypersonic glide vehicles, and unmanned aerial systems. This new threat environment, further underpins the necessity of missile defense as an indispensable function critical to the security of key ally and partner nations. The Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense J7 Directorate and its Joint Ballistic Missile Defense Training and Education Center, or JBTEC, serves as a cornerstone, educating allies and partners on critical aspects of missile defense.
Instructors from JFCC IMD provided training to Baltic States’ military members at the Estonia Control and Reporting Center in Tallinn, Estonia. The training audience included members of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Air Forces.
JFCC IMD, a component command of the United States Strategic Command, executed the training event as part of on-going United States European Command engagement efforts to increase missile defense capability and awareness among the Baltic States. Missile defense is a key component of an effective security architecture capable of deterring potential conflict.
JFCC IMD conducts global missile defense operations support in coordination with other combatant commands, services, and as directed, appropriate U.S. Government agencies. Col. Geoffrey Adams, deputy commanding officer of JFCC IMD, explained the importance of missile defense in security architectures not only in NATO but in regions all over the world, stating, “The situation in Ukraine is a powerful example of the danger missile threats pose to forces and territories. Adversaries are challenging the U.S., allies and partners with an increasing array of technologically advanced ballistic and cruise missile systems with greater mobility, accuracy and lethality.”
JFCC IMD’s JBTEC trains more than 4,000 individuals each year at locations all across the globe to include its main campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado. JBTEC is unique in that it is the only U.S. organization certified as a Joint Center of Excellence. Students come from across all of the services of the U.S. Military and agencies within the U.S. government as well as from allied and partnered nations from every corner of the world. The mission is to enhance the ability of its students to conduct integrated air and missile defense planning, increase U.S. and partner abilities to operate across the joint force and improve leaders’ ability to critically analyze the operational and strategic impacts of IAMD operations.
“We utilize small training teams at the various locations we travel to. In most cases, it is more cost effective than for operators, planners and staff officers to travel to Colorado Springs.” Pat McNelis, JBTEC director and lead instructor, explained.
Conducting training and education events with U.S. allies and partners is a prime example of security cooperation which is itself, a high priority for the United States with respect to its overarching security strategy. The training conducted by JBTEC increases the level of cooperation achievable in the accomplishment of critical mutual defense objectives and serves to strengthen commitment to those objectives.
“Demonstrated commitment to mutual security agreements is invaluable to a strong alliance or partnership.” Adams said. “Training together is a good way of demonstrating commitment.”