The U.S. Army Space Command recently completed a joint battle planning exercise designed to fine-tune national missile-defense command, control and communications, the service announced Thursday.
The Aug. 16 exercise was the eighth in a series sponsored by the U.S. Space Command and was held at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's Joint National Test Facility.
The exercises were conducted at the joint facility to take advantage of the operational software and analytical tools. The facility focuses on interservice, interoperability and integration aspects of the national and theater missile-defense programs.
"Today's exercise had two purposes. Our first goal was to examine the importance and impact of the rules of engagement. Our second goal was to give those of us in the operational community a chance to practice making critical operational decisions using the current version of the national missile-defense battle management software," said Maj. Tom Anderson, an official with the Army Space Command's plans division, in a written statement.
"This exercise was important because it focused our attention on ways the national command authorities might use a national missile-defense system to counteract a wide range of possible threats to North America, both intentional and accidental. The exercise also revealed a lot of policy work that remains to be done on engagement and doctrine," said Lt. Col. Stephen Sovaiko, who is assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.