RAMSTEIN, Germany – From 31 October to 10 November 2022, NATO’s Deployable Air Command and Control Center (DACCC) in Poggio Renatico, Italy is conducting Exercise Poggio Dart 2022 (PODA 22).

PODA 22 is a tactical level exercise designed to improve the operational capabilities of the DACCC. The NATO Deployable Surveillance Unit plans and conducts multinational air operations, controlling simulation and live flight activities from remote and home locations.

We underlined our operational role within the Alliance, firmly linking our mobile radar to NATO’s integrated air and missile defense system. This helps improve air defense coverage along the eastern flank

During the first week, the exercise was conducted as a computer-assisted exercise, using networked computer systems to simulate complex scenarios and generate participants’ results. During the current second week, the training takes place in the form of a live flight exercise with aircraft from four Allies. Direct control of these aircraft will allow DACCC fighter crews and controllers to improve their training and increase the level of expertise, taking advantage of the NATO concept of defense and deterrence.

A mobile satellite dish is being set up for exercise Poggio Dart ensuring connectivity within NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence System. Photo by DACCC.
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To validate the DACCC's expeditionary capability, a mobile radar was to Cervia Air Base and integrated into NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence System enhancing Air Defence coverage along the eastern flank. Photo by DACCC.
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"The various components of the DACCC again demonstrated their capabilities in the fields of deployability, operational planning and tactical execution,” said Colonel Guadagno, Poggio Dart Exercise Director. Photo by DACCC.
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NATO Allies are flying 30 multirole aircraft including Eurofighters and fifth-generation F-35s in support of the DACCC-led exercise Poggio Dart 22. Archive photo courtesy Italian Air Force.

NATO allies Greece, Italy, Turkey and the United States of America are contributing about 30 multirole aircraft, including F-16s, Eurofighters, Tornados and F-35s from Fifth generation, as well as support aircraft. These assets, together with the deployment of the DACCC’s mobile radar at Cervia Air Base, Italy, represent a valuable testing and training opportunity for NATO DACCC personnel and Allied aircrews.

“PODA 22 sees for the first time the use of NATO’s air command and control system, from the operational planning phase to tactical execution,” said Colonel Luca Guadagno, director of the training branch and DACCC exercises.

“The various components of the DACCC are once again demonstrating their capabilities in the areas of deployability, operational planning and tactical execution,” Colonel Guadagno said. “We have underlined our operational role within the Alliance, firmly linking our mobile radar to NATO’s integrated air and missile defense system. This helps to strengthen air defense coverage along the eastern flank, which is more important than ever these days,” he added.

The DACCC is the only NATO entity within the air command and control structure that provides the Alliance with an expeditionary capability through its two components. The Deployable Air Operations Center (DAOC) for the operational planning part and the Deployable Air Control Center, Recognized Aerial Imagery Production Center and Sensor Fusion Station (DARS) for tactical execution of tactical control from interceptors to airspace management.

“Already scheduled for 2021, PODA 22 has been designed to further test the expeditionary capability of the DACCC. This is all the more true since the DACCC has in the meantime acquired new capacities such as the active sensor used in the context of the PODA 22”, specifies Colonel Guadagno. “Additional capabilities such as passive sensors are being rolled out; moreover, the new task of developing an Air Support Operations Center capability for NATO is a further opportunity for us to reaffirm our role at the forefront of the NATO air command and control structure. NATO in terms of equipment, doctrine and training”, he concluded.