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Strengthening partnerships through air and missile defense exercises

By Capt. Ava Margerison U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs

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U.S. Air Forces Central Command service members completed Air and Missile Defense Exercise 18-03 in September.

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Photo By: AFCENT
VIRIN: 181024-D-VG904-999
AMDEX is a U.S.-led, two-week, joint multilateral exercise focused on combined air, ground and sea operations to promote regional stability across the CENTCOM and defend against malign influencers and enemy forces in Southwest Asia.  

“AMDEX is designed to test Integrated Air and Missile Defense procedures in a joint environment,” said Frank Dannals, AMDEX exercise director. “By bringing the joint team together in a large-scale IAMD exercise, we learn to fight in a fully-integrated manner, the result of which helps maintain security and stability in the Arabian Gulf.” 

As a semi-annual exercise, AMDEX started in 2010 to practice a total effort response to regional adversaries. More than 2,500 military service members from Air Force, Army and Navy components across the participating nations contributed to the planning, coordination and execution pieces of the exercise.  

“The AMDEX white cell works extremely hard to ensure all threats are as realistic as possible to adequately stimulate tactics, techniques and procedures,” said Dannals. “In fact, simulated scenarios used in recent ADMEX’s were the genesis of some significant changes to TTPs currently in use.”   

The scenario was set across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility against simulated air and missile threats. U.S. participation in exercises, such as AMDEX, provides reassurance to our coalition and regional partners and allies of the United States’ commitment to safeguarding security and stability of this region.  

"Of the many missions in the CENTCOM AOR, to include support to two kinetic fights, AMDEX is an opportunity to exercise a critical role: deterrence and defense of our Gulf partners along with US interests in the region," said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander. 

AMDEX provides an opportunity for these members to team together to conduct tactical operations under simulated real world conditions.

“Our AFCENT folks did an excellent job incorporating real-world events and intertwining all instruments of national power,” said Lt. Col. Paul Stucki, exercise lead. “The exercise was successful in testing our command, control and communication networks and systems as well as the plans we have in place to execute the mission real world.” 

The exercise was designed to apply specific elements in order to deter, defend and de-escalate potential crisis situations, said Stucki. During a variety of scenarios, participants exercised consistent dynamic support to improve combined tactical air operations and enhance the interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures. 

“All components of the U.S. military played a significant role and provided a layered defense comprised of unmatched lethality across all domains,” said Stucki. “No one component was more important than the other. We relied on the unique capabilities of each other, working together to defend one another and the assets and interests we are protecting.” 

Regularly scheduled exercises like AMDEX allows AFCENT to continue to build and enhance relationships while also maintaining regional stability. Each year, the U.S. military participates in more than 75 exercises with partner nations across CENTCOM.