Exercise Formidable Shield 19 has started at the Ministry of Defence’s Hebrides Range located on the Western Isles of Scotland.
The US 6th Fleet will lead the exercise May 7th to 19th.
The purpose of Formidable Shield is to improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile (IAMD) environment, using NATO command and control reporting structures.
Formidable Shield will therefore have a huge impact on shipping and air traffic. Shipping traffic will be forbidden from travelling through part of the exercise area during the period Formidable Shield is taking place.
Captain Jonathan Lipps, Deputy Commander for Task Force 64, US Navy 6th Fleet, said:
“The range here provides a great opportunity to integrate the forces of the alliance, the members of the task force, the water space and the air space that we need to execute this fight. It’s of vital importance.
There are few places in the world that we can conduct this type of operation. Here we can do it safely and capture the lessons learned that we need to build for the future.”
Steve Fitz-Gerald, Managing Director Maritime, Land and Weapons, QinetiQ said:
“Being able to undertake such complex and important exercises is vital for the UK’s future defence capability. In the MOD Hebrides Range, we have a truly world-class capability on our door step that is attractive to international customers and Formidable Shield demonstrates what the facility is capable of.
QinetiQ will continue to make improvements and upgrade facilities as we look to meet our strategy of modernising UK test and evaluation.”
Nine nations will participate by sending ships, including Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Belgium and Germany will support the exercise with staff officers embarked with Task Group IAMD.