From 2-9 November, exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 (SFJZ13) was held across Europe, including the Baltic states and Poland with the aim to train and test the NATO Response Force (NRF), a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force that the Alliance can deploy quickly wherever needed. For the NCI Agency, SFJZ13, as a certification exercise was important as it tests our customers' interoperability in anticipation of their NRF responsibilities, which begin on 1 January 2014.
Nearly every component of Service Delivery has either indirectly or directly contributed to the exercise for SJFZ13, whether supporting the static domains for reach back support, or supporting the NATO CIS Groups' deployable CIS systems and its domains. Through long hours and challenging situations over the course of 9 months, the exercise support was setup in time for Joint Force Command Brunssum to conduct their training exercises and certify their role as lead command for the 2014 NRF cycle.
As the main provider of NATO communication and information systems (CIS) and their day-to-day support for both operations and exercises, the Agency's CIS is supporting the air, land, maritime and Special Forces components of SFJZ13. Also incorporated in the exercise is a staged cyber threat to the nations; SFJZ13 sees participation from 28 NATO Allies, as well as Finland, Sweden and Ukraine took part in the exercise.
It is important to note that Agency customers in static locations such HQ Allied Air Command Ramstein have a direct connection to Poland and role to play during the Exercise. In this video BGEN Jack McMullen, Joint Force Air Component Commander at HQ Ramstein discusses how his unit will be involved in Exercise Steadfast Jazz.