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Optic Windmill

Joint Project Optic Windmill' s initiative dates back to 1996, when the RNLAF together with USEUCOM and GAF successfully executed the first JPOW. Although planned as a one time event, it was quickly followed by its successors in 1997 (JPOW-2), 1998 (JPOW-3) and 1999 (JPOW-4). Throughout the entire series, Its main objective was to demonstrate and exercise all pillars of Theater Air and Missile Defense and to develop and explore interoperability between all participants and refine the associated Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP).

JPOW was initially a Tactical Level Training Exercise and focused on all aspects of Passive Defense, Active Defense, Attack Operations/Counter Force Attack and its supporting Battle Management/Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence (BM/C4I). It provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate, practice, contribute and validate the status of the different Theater Air & Missile Defense (TAMD)/Extended Integrated Air Defense (EIAD) concepts as developed by the US and NATO. It proved to be the instrument to develop, refine and validate the TTP' s in use by the major participating nations (United States, Germany and the Netherlands). JPOW also incorporated "lessons learned" and results of other TAMD exercises, like Roving Sands.

JPOW evolved from a small scale, low technology TMD exercise into a versatile and highly technical annual TAMD event, using advanced simulation and analysis technology. It' s unique playground allowed integration of new concepts, doctrines and technologies (examples Airborne Laser [ABL], Space Based Infrared Satellites [SBIRS), Naval AEGIS TBMD, Joint Planning and Data Networks [TADIL-J], etc.). Despite its growth, JPOW' s main focus remained on Tactical Level training. JPOW' s key element for success, its unique joint analysis methodology is regarded as the most beneficial element of the exercise.

Despite its success JPOW 1 through 4 could never train and execute full scale Command & Control and Attack Operations/Counter Force Operations on both the Operational and the Tactical Level due to a lack of resources. Last year the decision was made to bring JPOW to an "Operational Level". Together with AIRCENT, a unique plan was developed to integrate the JPOW concept into "Clean Hunter" NATO' s largest Live Flying Exercise in Europe, without JPOW losing its identity, or its unique analysis concept and capabilities. After months of careful negotiation, a Combined Exercise Planning Staff was established, composed of USEUCOM, AIRCENT, RNLAF and GAF representatives.

United States European Command personnel participated in the third European-based combined and joint theater missile defense assessment, known as Joint Project Optic Windmill 98, from April 27 to May 19, 1998, at De Peel Air Base, Netherlands. This theater missile defense exercise overlays a national exercise of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. It provides a realistic theater missile threat scenario in an environment to support the assessment of theater missile defense operations, allowing participating countries to practice combined and joint operations and improve the international cooperation among their armed forces.

The objectives of Optic Windmill focus on all aspects of theater missile defense, including attack operations, counterforce attacks, and active/passive defense. The exercise provides an opportunity to test and demonstrate new concepts, doctrine, tactics, technology and techniques.

The theater missile defense coordination cell at European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, provided the senior leadership for the planning and execution of the theater missile defense mission. The theater missile defense coordination cell at the 32nd Air Operations Squadron headquarters, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, played a major role in the exercise, providing the connectivity to all sources on information relating to theater ballistic missile threats.

In addition, the U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, performed attack operations on threat forces portrayed by German and Dutch patriot units. Joint Project Optic Windmill - V was the fifth edition of this European based Joint & Combined Theater Air & Missile Defense (TAMD) assessment exercise. It is a national exercise of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and coincided with NATO Air Component Command AIRNORTH largest Live Flying Exercise "Clean Hunter 2000" and as such is officially designated as "Clean Hunter 2000/Joint Project Optic Windmill - V" (official NATO abbreviation: CN00/JPOW-V).


CN00/JPOW-V was organized by the Royal Netherlands Air Force and HQ AIRNORTH with support of US European Command (USEUCOM), and the German Air Force (GAF). Because of its focus on Theater Missile Defense (TMD), CN00/JPOW-V is part of USEUCOM TMD CINC Assessment Program. Through this program, CN00/JPOW-V is supported by US Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), US Joint Theater Air & Missile Defense Organization (JTAMDO), US Army Space & Missile Defense Command (US-SMDC) and US-Army Program Executive Office Air & Missile Defense (PEO-AMD). NATO' s contribution consists of elements of NATO' s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and NATO' s Command, Control & Communications Agency (NC3A).

To execute Command and Control functions, an Interim Deployable Combined Air Operations Center (IDCAOC) was deployed. Within the IDCAOC an Extended Air Defense Cell (EADC) was formed as part of the IDCAOC future operations cell. The personnel of the HQ, EADTF were primarily responsible for manning the EADC, supported by liaison officers from the Army, Navy and Air Borne Laser (ABL). Also, contractors supported the operation through the use of equipment. The primary task of this cell was to execute Extended Air Defense mission planning.

CN00/JPOW-V was divided into two phases. In the first phase, a Crisis Response situation was created in which JPOW-V' s TAMD concept was executed to the maximum extent. A Deliberate Response situation was the basis for the second phase of CN00/JPOW-V, in which full NATO C2 was activated and all C2 and air assets of Clean Hunter have been incorporated. A comprehensive and realistic scenario guaranteed a flawless transition between both phases at all levels.

CN00/JPOW-V provided a realistic and comprehensive Theater Air & Missile threat scenario and environment to support the assessment of all TAMD operations. It offered a "State of the Art" Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) as well as a Synthetic and Live Battle space environment. It incorporated live OPFOR Surrogate TM units (Transportable and Erectable Launcher - TEL), C2, Infrastructure, Reload and Logistic Areas, simultaneously operating in regions in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. It included electronics, imagery and movement signatures. Integrated Air Defense (MANPAD/SHORAD) complemented the "Live Air" threat environment. A Synthetic Battlespace Environment was created in support of the Data Collection for the "Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace" process.

Attack Operations/Counter Force Operations conducted in geographical areas replicated employment ranges and threat circumstances, using supportive (simulated) Ground Surveillance and Imagery.

Active Defense (Mission Planning and Mission Execution) was conducted against both Air Breathing and Tactical Missiles Threats in order to defend a variety of possible high value assets and areas in the virtual area of operations. CN00/JPOW-V Active Defense force list was composed of Lower Tier Ground- and Seabased TAMD systems (Patriot, Hawk, AEGIS, LCF, etc.), together with the Airborne Laser.

Passive Defense was conducted using U.S. Shared Early Warning and both U.S. and NATO dissemination means. Current and newly developed NBC processing systems were used for damage predictions, warning and assessment to reduce vulnerability and minimize damage. Several European Civil Defense organizations were part of the passive defense portion of CN00/JPOW-V.

The CN00/JPOW-V BM/C4I architecture integrated all participants at all levels to the maximum extent possible, providing the necessary data and voice communications, early warning data processing, engagement and force operations (EO/FO) coordination and supportive intelligence and targeting data. It included a Joint Planning Network and Joint Data Network, using the JTIDS network protocol to achieve a limited Single Integrated Air Picture (SIAP) through distribution of Shared Early Warning (SEW), a Common Operational Picture (COP) and a Consistent Tactical Picture (CTP), using both organic NATO C2 and dedicated U.S. C2 systems and Multi Data Link Network(s).

In 2002, the Royal Netherlands Air Force conducted the seventh edition in the series of EAD/TAMD exercises "Joint Project Optic Windmill" (JPOW-VII). JPOW-VII was scheduled for the period of the 2nd till the 20th of September 2002, which includes equipment build-up, testing, training and execution. JPOW-VII will be executed at the facilities of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Base "De Peel" in the Netherlands. JPOW-VII main emphasis is to conduct a small scale EAD/TAMD exercise, with its main focus on Passive Defense, Active Defense, Attack Operations/Counterforce Operations and its associated BM/C4I. JPOW-VII main contributors, USEUCOM, MDA, GAF and RNLAF have established a Combined Exercise Planning Staff (CEPS), which will, to ensure proper planning and execution, organize a series of Planning Conferences (Initial and Mid Planning Conference and Final Planning Review) and Academics sessions. The Mid Planning Conference JPOW VII was scheduled for the 2-3 May 2002 at Air Force Base De Peel.

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