Ramstein Air Base Community
International Integrated Air and Missile Defense Conference
Story by SGT Bethany Williams on 02/01/2019
10th AAMDC hosts 2019 IAMD Conference
Leader from the European Air Defense community gathered at Ramstein Air Base January 22-24 for the 2019 Integrated Air and Missile Defense Conference. The event, hosted by the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, brought together air defenders from across Europe for a chance to share ideas, discuss upcoming missions and interact face-to-face.
“This conference reinforces the relationships between the senior air defenders and all NATO members including Sweden, and fosters a shared understanding of the current stance and tone of our NATO air defense picture,” said Maj. Charles J. Burkardt, chief of attack operations with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 10th AAMDC. “It provides a platform for our air defender leaders to address the entire air defense community at once, and collaborate together as partners and Allies to make Europe even stronger as we continue operations into the future.”
The IIAMD conference was able to bring air defender leaders together from all over Europe and allowed partners and Allies to fix issues, improve operations and collaborate as an air defense community.
The participants include representatives from: EUCOM, NAVEUR/CTF-64, USAREUR, USAFE, NATO SHAPE, AIRCOM and MARCOM, JFC Brunssum, JFC Naples, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Turkey, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Fires Center of Excellence, TRADOC and the Missile Defense Agency.
“Senior air defense leaders, industry experts, and cross component commanders, capitalized on the opportunity to exchange ideas with each other, develop a framework for the future, and explored concepts to enhance our posture in current and future operations,” Burkhardt said. “It was a very successful conference, every NATO member in attendance including Sweden had an opportunity to have their Air Defense concerns heard and answered on an international level, and it set a very high precedence for future IIAMD conferences.”
Air Force Officer Tony Theunisse, section head on service base air and missile defense with Netherlands Army Command, said the conference is mutually beneficial to all participating nations.
“The Air and Missile Defense community is a small community, but with our different schedules we do not have a chance to see and speak with each other often,” Theunisse said. “Having this conference with all the nations set up by 10th AAMDC is beneficial because it is not easy to get this kind of venue and location to have discussions on a classified level.”
Bringing the air defense community together as a whole allowed nations to share ideas and discuss similar issues unique to air defenders.
French Army Adjudant, Sebastien Raffin said, the conference was an excellent opportunity to discuss capability gaps, mutual interests, exercises, and opportunities for improving interoperability, and operational depth of IAMD forces throughout the theater.
Air defense artillery parted its ways with the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps in 1968 and intergrated with the U.S. Army. U.S. Army Air defense artillery units in Europe were established after World War I and have remained in Germany to this day.
“The key takeaway from the conference was a shared understanding and appreciation of technical, tactical and human interoperability required to ensure the collective defense of NATO Allies and partners,” said Raffin.