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News | Feb. 24, 2021

AFCENT hosts regional Joint Air Defense Exercise 21-01

By Staff Sgt. Dustin Mullen U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs

U.S. Air Forces Central, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. Army Central Command, coalition partners, and four regional partner nations conducted Joint Air Defense Exercise 21-01, Feb. 15-19, 2021.

JADEX, which occurs bi-annually, is a large-scale integrated air and missile defense exercise that allows participants to understand and experience simulated threats in order to work through solutions.

“The ability of our joint, coalition, and Gulf Cooperation Council partners to participate in these exercises is critical to achieving air and missile defense superiority, and stability in the Arabian Gulf,” said Maj. Justin Cunningham, U.S. Air Forces Central chief of exercises. “JADEX is an expansive exercise with a number of players, which includes live-fly events and detailed simulation scenarios.”

In addition to achieving air and missile defense objectives, the five-day exercise was an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and improve interoperability between joint and coalition partners.

"Current and future mission successes are reliant on our ability to work together as partners," said Maj. Eric Vanley, U.S. Air Forces Central Qatar Air Defense Liaison. "I saw this success first-hand during JADEX when multiple agencies worked together to determine who would defeat simulated theater ballistic missiles. Working together under stress and time constraints is crucial to preparing for real-world threats."

With the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s focus on accelerating change, exercises like JADEX allow units to find innovative ways to be more effective.

“Nothing in warfighting is routine,” Cunningham said. “That’s the beauty of having multiple players with varying backgrounds; new discoveries and ideas for more effective operations come to light. There were multiple individuals who leaned forward to test new ideas within the JADEX environment.”

Cunningham went on to underscore the importance of using this exercise as a way to test new skills, hone old ones, and find ways to improve the way each organization responds.

“JADEX should be used as a means to try, vet and fix new and existing processes,” said Cunningham. “If there is a procedure or operations guide that needs testing, now is the time to bring it out. The exercise is meant to find the holes in understanding, at the ops and staff levels, to effectively fight adversaries.”

AFCENT air expeditionary wings throughout the theater participated in the exercise as well, incorporating their own tailored learning objectives.