AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar –
U.S. Air Forces Central (AFCENT) has successfully concluded a comprehensive Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems exercise on July 20, which aimed at enhancing integration, interoperability, and lethality among participating nations. The exercise brought together air forces from the United States, United Kingdom, France, and three other regional air forces, fostering collaboration and strengthening institutional capacity in countering the evolving UAS threat.
With the rapid proliferation of UAS technology, it has become imperative for nations to enhance their C-UAS capabilities. The recently concluded exercise served as a crucial platform for AFCENT and its partners to improve their ability to effectively neutralize UAS threats, ensuring the safety and security of their respective airspace.
A total of 17 aircraft, including U.S. F-16s, a KC-10, and MQ-9s, participated in the exercise. This diverse fleet represented the cutting-edge capabilities of the participating nations, showcasing their commitment to countering UAS threats through advanced technology and operational expertise.
"This C-UAS exercise demonstrates our unwavering commitment to enhancing collective defense capabilities across the Middle East region," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. David Mineau, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) deputy commander and Deputy Combined Forces Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command. "By working closely with our regional and coalition partners, we aim to strengthen our ability to detect, track, and neutralize UAS threats, ultimately ensuring the safety of our partner nations and forces."
The exercise focused on various aspects of countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems threats, including detection, tracking, and engagement techniques. Through realistic scenarios and simulated UAS threats, participating forces enhanced their situational awareness, refined their tactics, and developed effective countermeasures.
The event provided an opportunity for U.S. Air Forces Central and its partners to share best practices, lessons learned, and operational experiences in countering UAS threats. This exchange of knowledge and expertise will contribute to the continuous improvement of C-UAS capabilities across the coalition, fostering a stronger and more coordinated response to this evolving threat.
Air Forces Central remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of the region, and exercises such as this play a vital role in achieving that objective. By strengthening integration, interoperability, and lethality, AFCENT and its partners are better equipped to address the challenges posed by UAS technology, safeguarding the skies and preserving peace in the region.