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News | May 9, 2024

Culminating Nimble Titan 24 Senior Leader Event to take place in Germany

By Lt. Col. Alissa Modrow Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense

This month senior foreign affairs, defense, and military leaders from more than 20 nations and international organizations will attend the Nimble Titan 24 Senior Leader Event in Germany.

Each two-year NT campaign of experimentation culminates with a senior leader event, providing a summary of critical findings. Senior Leaders then provide guidance, outlining supplementary priorities for the next campaign.

“The SLE is an important part of the campaign,” said Dr. Marxen Kyriss, the wargame control group director. “Not only do we report on what we explored and learned, but we gain senior leader insights into the same areas the players wrestled with; these insights are added to augment the data derived from the campaign events. Lastly, we gain guidance and direction from the senior leaders for areas on which to focus in the next campaign.”

NT is the premier global forum for integrated air and missile defense policy experimentation and concept development. It is a continuing series of campaigns that strengthens international partnerships, influences the development of missile defense policies and concepts, and informs missile defense capability development for nations and international organizations.

Beginning in the 1990s, NT has evolved from a U.S. Joint Staff war game initiative to a bilateral war game with the United Kingdom, and then to a multilateral war game with the incorporation of foreign affairs, defense, and military participants from European and Indo-Pacific countries starting in 2006. Growing with each iteration, Nimble Titan members currently include 25 nations spanning the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and North America as well as three international organizations and several supporting partners from across the U.S. Department of Defense.

Since 2005, United States Space Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense has executed nine NT multinational campaigns.

“Although Nimble Titan has been around in its current form for nearly 20 years, this campaign demonstrated the community’s desire and ability to try new things (like the classified excursion, and integrating space support to IAMD), and is in keeping with our purpose of providing a venue for multi-national collaboration, exchange of views and insights, and experimentation with IAMD policy and operational concepts,” said Army Col. Christopher Smith, the NT director.

Planning for NT 24 began with the Campaign Design Conference in May 2022. Subsequent design and planning workshops enabled facilitators and participating nations and organizations to set the scene and incorporate dozens of objectives into the war game events. The competition, crisis, and conflict war game events drove consideration of issues that might face the world 10 years in the future. Concluding the series of events is the senior leader event.

“The SLE is not only the culminating event for the previous campaign but, unofficially, the beginning of the new one,” said Andreas Schmidt from the Joint Air Power Competence Centre. “Presenting the senior leaders with NT results in a thought provoking way has been shown to add an extra layer of understanding to the given NT findings, adding greatly to the NT report. Equally important, since NT strives to cope with continuously evolving changes to IAMD, the senior leaders are providing the framework in which we will experiment with NT next time. This ensures that the next campaign will do research in the right direction.”

“The SLE is the capstone event of the campaign and provides a wonderful setting for senior leaders to gather, begin or continue professional relationships, and dialogue on what is most important to all involved — the defense and protection of their respective nations,” Smith said. “There is no better way to build and maintain relationships, learn from each other, and improve our collective defenses, than by having senior leaders meet in person to share and understand what others are doing to address the many air and missile defense threats before us.”