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Nimble Titan explores multinational missile defense

men in front of ship

Senior Leaders from 18 nations and three international organizations convene for a Nimble Titan senior leader seminar at the Marine Establishment Amsterdam, Nov. 10-11, 2021. At the seminar they discussed policy and military operational concepts for multinational missile defense. (U.S. Army photo by Dorothy White)

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands --

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Senior Leaders from 18 nations and three international organizations convened for a senior leader seminar at the Marine Establishment Amsterdam, Nov. 10-11, to discuss policy and military operational concepts for multinational missile defense.

Known as Nimble Titan, the two-year global integrated air and missile defense campaign is set 10 years in the future, allowing participants to experiment with policy and operational concepts to build common understanding of regional and global integrated air and missile defense strategic threats, policy and operations.

Nimble Titan is a U.S. Strategic Command-sponsored event executed by USSTRATCOM’s Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense. JFCC IMD is responsible for synchronizing global missile defense planning and providing operational support as outlined in the U.S. government’s unified command plan.

“Thank you for attending this Nimble Titan 2020 senior leader event,” said Col. Todd Schmidt, director of Nimble Titan and the JFCC IMD Plans, Policy and Allied Integration Division. “We especially wish to thank our hosts, the Netherlands and the Marine Establishment Amsterdam, for your gracious hospitality and all the coordination and work you have done to make this event a success.”

Policy makers and military leaders gathered at the senior leader seminar to explore strategic multinational missile defense policy and military cooperation concepts generated during the Nimble Titan 20 campaign. They engaged in open discussions on intra- and inter-regional integrated air and missile defense cooperation and the role of IAMD in deterrence, threats, information sharing, thresholds and ambiguity, among other challenges of collective missile defense.

“Our collective desired end state is to achieve a comprehensive understanding of joint and combined approaches to deterring and preventing adversary advantage in the employment of offensive air and missile capabilities,” said Schmidt.

Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of JFCC IMD and commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, said it was important to work with allies and partners toward the common goal of integrated deterrence.

“Integrated deterrence seeks to network and employ every lever of national power, through all levels of conflict, with greater speed, through all warfighting domains, and maybe most importantly, through greater cooperation with allies and partners in order to maintain deterrent effects,” said Karbler.

“We need to use all available technology, tailored to the existing security landscape and develop new ones to negate developing threats,” Karbler continued. "Platforms across land, maritime, air, space and cyber must be synchronized in ways that best link sensors, shooters, and command and control at the speed of conflict. There can be no safe haven along the life cycle of an adversary’s missile strike capability. Pre-launch to post-launch, there are opportunities for defeat and mitigation.”

Gen. James H. Dickinson, commander, U.S. Space Command, and keynote speaker, said as the U.S. develops new technology, it needs to be integrated rather than interoperable, so data can be shared in a timely manner with allies and partners across the coalition maximizing capabilities.

“In my mind, our best deterrent is what is in this room today. Our ability to work together, to collaborate together and integrate together is the most powerful signal to whoever would be our potential adversary,” said Dickinson.

Karbler said when working together, it was important to be able to communicate freely and share information when and where needed during times of peace as well as conflict to achieve the most efficient and reliable enhanced situational awareness.

“From an alliance perspective, it requires agreements and processes that allow for timely exploitation of the massive volume of information and data collected by contributing sensor networks,” said Karbler. “More importantly, and probably the most difficult challenge, it requires breaking away from a common culture that favors compartmenting and isolating information. Until this challenge is overcome, we will never be able to fully realize the potential of our capabilities – particularly those that reside with our allies and partners.”

Karbler said cooperation amongst nations with common threats is a strength like no other.

"The demonstrated formidable alliances and collaboration on our common defense will be a cornerstone of integrated deterrence,” he said. “No single nation has adequate comprehensive missile defense to defeat all the current and emerging missile threats. Multilateral integration and cooperation are crucial to safeguard our collective interests.”

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