NATO Holds a Major Air Defence Exercise in Poland: Tobruq Legacy-19

Image Credit: 4ZPPlot
Image Credit: 4ZPPlot

Between 3rd and 19th June Poland is going to become an arena for an international NATO air defence exercise also known as Tobruq Legacy-19. The operation is going to involve elements hailing from Poland, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, the United States of America, Czech Republic and the UK. According to the information that came across, the exercise is to involve medium range Patriot SAM systems along with a broad range of Polish and foreign short range systems, such as NASAMS, Hawk, Kub or Osa.

The exercise would be taking place at the command center and field levels and it is going to involve 4800 persons and 1200 equipment units. Tobruq Legacy-19 is going to become the largest NATO international SBAD (SBAD – Surface Based Air Defence) exercise in Europe.

According to the information provided to team by major Karolina Krzewina-Hyc, spokesperson for the Central Air Force Range in Ustka, the field portion of the exercise would be involving units from Poland, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, along with a joint German-Dutch element. During the event not only will the Patriot missiles be used, as Polish Osa and allied NASAMS, Hawk and Kub SAM systems will also be put to the test. British Stormer HVM systems using 8 Thales Starstreak HVM missiles, a rarity in Central Europe, would also be involved in the operational activities undertaken during the exercise.

Image Credit: Crown Copyright

Not only will the field portion of the training activities be taking place in Ustka, but also at the 21st Central Aviation Range (Nadarzyce), as well as at Land Forces Field Training Facilities in Wędrzyn and Orzysz. The staff/C2 exercise would also involve the Polish air component command (COP-DKP) based in Warsaw, 22nd Command and Directing Facility (22. ODN) in Bydgoszcz and Mobile Air Operations Command Unit (MJDOP) stationed in Poznan. NATO HQ AIRCOM (NATO Allied Air Command), CAOC (Combined Air Operations Centre) EU, NAEW&CF (Nato Airborne Early Warning and Control Force), NCIA (NATO Communications and Information Agency), MAEWTF (Multinational Aircrew Electronic Warfare Tactics Facility Polygone) are among the bodies that would be involved in the training outside Poland.

The main objective defined for Tobruq Legacy-19 is to confirm the capabilities remaining at hand of the multinational allied air defence component to work together as a homogeneous task force, in line with the NATO procedures. Live fire event, tactical exercise, AWACS support, deployment of command sites in line with their functional structures, ICT and C2 configuration allowing for information exchange in line with the NATO standards are all going to be a part of the planned training.