NATO alliance troops have been taking part in Ramstein Legacy, one of the largest ever exercises testing their Air and Missile Defence systems.
Britain’s contribution to the exercise includes nearly 100 soldiers from the 7th Air Defence Group at Amari airbase, Estonia and Ustka, Poland, who operate Stormer vehicles armed with the Starstreak High velocity anti-aircraft missile. The Starstreak is a world leader, it can accelerate to more than Mach 4 making it the fastest short-range surface-to-air High Velocity Missile in existence.
Colonel Graham Taylor. Commander, 7th Air Defence Group (7 AD G):
"NATO remains at the forefront as a coalition and as an alliance and the UK Army through its Air-Defence plays a really important part in that." COLONEL GRAHAM TAYLOR.
COMMANDER 7TH AIR DEFENCE GROUP
“Ramstein Legacy is really important. It’s a build-up of NATO exercises that have been taking place over the past 5-6 years. It is an opportunity for all the NATO air defence countries to get together and to exercise integrated Air and Missile Defence."
7 AD G is a formation of the British Army consisting of 2 regular regiments and one reserve regiment. It is the British Army’s Air Defence Capability which is also responsible for detecting, identifying, and tracking aircraft in support of UK Operations.
12 Regiment Royal Artillery is equipped with short range Air Defence, the high velocity Stormer missile system.
16 Regiment Royal Artillery have recently taken over Sky Sabre, the new world class medium range air defence capability which replaced Rapier.
106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery are the British Army’s only reserve anti warfare regiment.
One of those taking part in the exercise and crewing the Stormer was Gunner Timothy Bentley from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery:
"This is an awesome piece of kit that we are using. With the Starstreak we can reach distances of up to 10 Kilometres targeting fixed-wing and Rotary amongst other targets." GUNNER TIMOTHY BENTLEY,
12 REGIMENT ROYAL ARTILLERY
“This is an awesome piece of kit that we are using. With the Starstreak we can reach distances of up to 10 Kilometres targeting fixed-wing and Rotary amongst other targets. Working with other countries has been amazing, it has been good to see how our partners operate and to work alongside them.”
Colonel Taylor adds that the main aim of Ramstein Legacy is to practice NATO tactics in a real-world situation and environment:
“The more you can exercise and operate with your NATO partners the better. So, whether it is basic human integration levels or technical or procedural levels it just provides that opportunity to get out, to get deployed and to go through those doctrines and standard Operating Procedures.
It is Important to realise that this exercise was planned over two years ago so is not a reaction to the Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, this was always going to be scheduled. It heightens everybody’s focus and strengthens the importance of this activity at this stage and in this part of the world.”