The Force Protection Centre (FPC) recently hosted the European Air Group’s (EAG) annual Force Protection (FP) interoperability & standardisation exercise; VOLCANEX.

Directed by the EAG, the exercise saw approximately 100 personnel from across the Belgian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Spanish air forces utilise the Synthetic-Complex Air Ground Environment (S-CAGE) training facility here in the Force Protection Centre.

Attendees ranged in rank from OR-3 to OF-4 and included diverse skill sets and specialities from the broad FP and Sy capability and enabling functions such as fire fighters, medics and explosive ordnance disposal operators.

This year’s exercise was themed around a Baltic Air Policing mission faced with hybrid-warfare that included attacking drone-swarms, toxic industrial material incidents, pervasive electronic and cyber warfare

The S-CAGE facility generates a realistic simulated Command and Control (C2) ops room environment where users can fully interact and immerse themselves in C2 activity. The system and the environment are controlled real time from a white force room – fully outfitted with ICT and personnel that fully simulates FP & Sy elements and activity at the tactical level.

Throughout the week, a rotating set of Battle-Captains from different nations were challenged to control and co-ordinate the multi-national team’s response to events which grew steadily in severity and complexity.

The combination of an intensive barrage of overlapping events and in-depth debriefings allowed attendees to hone and standardise their C2 procedures, with significant improvements evident by the final stages of each week.

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