A U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft took part in missions supporting NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 18 in Norway on Oct. 31, 2018.
This marked the first time an E-3 Sentry is participating in Trident Juncture exercise and visiting Norway. The aircraft that took part in the exercise was assigned to the USAF’s 552nd Air Control Wing located Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
The E-3 Sentry is an Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, which is a powerful airborne search and track radar system that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by commanders of U.S. and NATO air defense forces. The radar and other sensors aboard the E-3 provide deep-look surveillance, warning, interception control and airborne battle management.
“This exercise provides our AWACS operations and maintenance Airmen the opportunity to integrate with our NATO Allies and partner nations,” said Maj. Steven Fiore, the 552nd ACW detachment commander. “Our AWACS will perform different sorties to include overland, maritime early warning, and airlift/airdrop missions. These type of missions, especially when integrated, enable our crews to enhance their combat readiness, so collectively NATO can immediately respond to a range of real-world situations.”
Trident Juncture 18 is designed to ensure that NATO Allies and partners, to include the U.S., are trained and ready. The exercise enhances flexibility and interoperability among Allies and partner nations to strengthen combined response capabilities.
With over 50,000 participants from 31 nations, Trident Juncture 18 is NATO’s largest exercise since 2002, provides U.S. forces unique opportunities to train with NATO Allies and partners, and will strengthen transatlantic bonds in a dynamic and challenging environment.
With an objective to maintain a common operating picture in robust link environment, the 552nd ACW airmen maximize training opportunities for full integration with NATO nations, gaining experience through briefings, debriefings and mission exposure by integrating in full tactical/operational command and control structure.
Training focus areas for the exercise will include overland sorties consisting of Air Interdiction, Dynamic Targeting, Early Warning, and High Value Airborne Asset Protection.
This exercise will enable the 552nd ACW Airmen to enhance readiness and flexibility in response to a changed security environment. It helps communicate that U.S. Air Forces are engaged, postured, and ready with credible forces to assure, deter and defend our Allies and partner nations in an increasingly complex security environment.
“I am extremely proud of what our airmen are able to accomplish while supporting Trident Juncture,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Weaver, the 552nd ACW detachment first sergeant. “This exercise teaches us how to work together better and more efficiently, strengthening our capabilities and ensuring our ability to prepare for contingencies and rapidly response to crises.”