NCI Agency experts have been praised for providing the 'backbone' of NATO's most complex CIS exercise to date – Steadfast Cobalt 2018.
A team of Agency engineers participated to the successful planning and execution of the command and control structure exercise, which concluded in Kaunas, Lithuania on Thursday 31 May 2018. Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 2018 (SC18) is the NATO Communications Information Systems Group (NCISG) annual field evaluation exercise.
The Agency's dedicated team of experts was present on site from 25 April, with the last member leaving the theatre on 5 June.
Addressing them, RADM Dr Thomas Daum, the NCI Agency's Chief of Staff, commented: "You are the backbone to this exercise. I am happy to have heard several times during my stay in Kaunas, from both the Officer conducting the Exercise [NATO CIS Group Commander Major General Wolfgang Renner] and the operational sponsor [Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES], that this exercise would not be possible without the Agency. You make it happen."
RADM Dr Daum added: "We also work as one team to send a clear signal that the NCI Agency is well-prepared for the upcoming Trident Juncture 18, one of the largest NATO live exercises to date."
Steadfast Cobalt is an annual exercise which is focused on testing and developing all elements of NATO's command and control structure in support of the Enhanced NATO Response Force (eNRF). Over 800 participants took part in the event, which involved activities in over 20 different sites across 15 countries.
Due to the number of simultaneous scenarios that it was tasked to test and de-risk on the same network. Steadfast Cobalt has been described as NATO's most complex Communication and Information System exercise to date.
As emphasized by NCISG Commander, Major General Wolfgang Renner, Steadfast Cobalt 18 took place in challenging times, marked by a highly demanding security situation requiring the Alliance to adapt its structure and 'mindset' accordingly."We must continue to be imaginative and devise very practical ways to prepare for various scenarios, also in CIS terms," MGEN Renner said.
The success in achieving SFCT18's goals, despite a considerable number of challenges, is a sign that we are on the right path, while paving the way to Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 19 – due to take place in Romania next year.