AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --- U.S. Central Command Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and space warfighters joined regional and coalition partners last week for Joint Air Defense Exercise 20-2.
Led by U.S. Air Forces Central Command, the bi-annual exercise focused on improving readiness of air defense assets within the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
"JADEX allowed us to test the readiness and integration of our multi-layered joint defense systems," said Royal Air Force Group Captain Snaith, Combined Air Operations Center battle director. "This exercise helped us make sure in a situation where a lot of things are happening at once, we are able to rapidly identify potential threats and then clearly and concisely communicate that to everyone in the impacted area."
The exercise included robust table-top and simulated scenarios to validate joint coalition command and control operations. During the exercise, participants were evaluated on their ability to quickly assess the threat picture and prioritize defensive systems to minimize losses.
One of the scenarios featured the guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, integrating with air and ground elements to provide layered air defense capabilities to the force.
JADEX 20-2 also built upon previous iterations to account for lessons learned and integrates current challenges. This time was no exception, as members had to execute the scenarios with COVID-19 mitigation measures in place.
"This JADEX exercise is the first large event at the Combined Air Operations Center since the coronavirus pandemic started," said Maj. Justin Cunningham, JADEX exercise director and AFCENT (Forward) chief of exercises. "Through JADEX, we proved that not only are we capable of executing our command and control objectives with precision, but we can do so with COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. We were able to successfully transition from steady-state operations to an increased state of readiness without compromising our service member's health and safety."
JADEX is one of more than 75 exercises across the CENTCOM AOR that strengthens peaceful military-to-military relationships and provides regional stability with partner nations.