NATO to exercise counter-terrorism technology in Italy

Posted in NATO | 25-Sep-08 | Source: NATO

NATO holds its next major field test, Trial Imperial Hammer, this month in Sardinia (29 Sept-15 Oct 2008) to demonstrate how the Alliance’s ability to share time critical intelligence can better protect NATO forces and populations from terrorist attacks through better identification and tracking of enemy combatants.

Fifteen nations and ten NATO agencies are working together, under the auspices of NATO’s SIGINT Electronic Warfare Working Group, to leverage their collective expertise and assets to improve NATO’s counterterrorism capabilities. Units from the Navy, Special Operations Forces, Air Force (forty six aircraft) and Army (twenty five ground systems), consisting of over 1000 personnel in all, will take the next step in delivering important Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to NATO's forces.

Sharing of intelligence

Terrorists today use a myriad of means, including improvised explosive devices, to intimidate and destabilize civilian populations, as well as to attack military forces and non-military supporting organizations involved in reconstruction work.

Sharing of intelligence on the modern battlefield is of paramount importance to NATO. It requires the fusing of information from a variety of technical and human sources. NATO demonstrations using realistic scenarios help facilitate Alliance forces interoperate in the field.

TIH08 is part of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) overall Defense Against Terrorism (DAT) Programme.

According to Peter Flory, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, “Trial Imperial Hammer is the following step in a series of NATO intelligence-related field trials. Focused on providing commanders and warfighters with essential intelligence for combating terrorism and other critical military missions in NATO Network Enabled Capabilities environment, Trial Imperial Hammer is part of NATO's ongoing military transformation."

Combining forces

Trial Imperial Hammer 08 will seek to forge together a joint all-source intelligence architecture combining land, maritime, airborne, space, and special operations assets to share signals and imagery intelligence to better exploit this information in a common fight against terrorism. It will have specific implications for the NATO Response Force by developing methods for fusing and sharing time-critical information leading to improved Alliance’s situational awareness and combat readiness.

“Definitely, the opportunity to host a major event such as TIH08,” said Lt-Gen. Carmine Pollice, Commander Italian Air Force Command, “is both a grand responsibility and a great opportunity for the Italian Armed Forces, particularly for the Air Force. Following the positive outcome of 2005 and 2006 editions, we hope to set the stage to further step forward. Certainly, Italy offers a great environment to achieve this objective.”