The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force (NAGSF), with support from Northrop Grumman Corporation, marked a significant milestone recently in the System Level Performance Verification with the completion of a nine-hour training and test flight conducted for the first time under control of NAGSF trained pilots.
«Northrop Grumman is proud to support NAGSF pilots training as they control flights with number one NATO RQ-4D Phoenix», said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. «We remain committed in our relationship to NATO and the mission to protect and defend global security».
The NATO AGS RQ-4D aircraft is based on the U.S. Air Force wide area surveillance Global Hawk. It has been uniquely adapted to NATO requirements and will provide NATO state-of-the-art intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. This includes protecting ground troops, civilian populations and international borders in peacetime, times of conflict and for humanitarian missions during natural disasters.
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NATO’s four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are now fully operational. This milestone comes after the Canadian-led battlegroup based at Camp Ādaži in Latvia became the fourth battlegroup to complete its Certification Exercise.
In response to a changed security environment, Allied leaders decided at the Warsaw Summit in 2016 to enhance NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. Since then, four multinational battlegroups totaling approximately 4,500 troops have deployed to the Baltic nations and Poland. Canada leads the battlegroup in Latvia, with contributions by Albania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain. Germany leads the battlegroup in Lithuania, with contributions by Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The United Kingdom leads the battlegroup in Estonia, with contributions by France. The United States leads the battlegroup in Poland, with contributions by Romania and the UK.
These forces are a defensive and proportionate deterrent force, fully in line with NATO’s international commitments. They send a clear message that an attack on one Ally would be met by troops from across the Alliance.
The four battlegroups are one part of the Alliance’s response to Russia’s use of force against its neighbours and its military build-up in the Baltic region and beyond. NATO is also strengthening its multinational presence in the Black Sea region, based around a Romanian-led multinational framework brigade. The Alliance has also tripled the size of the NATO Response Force to 40,000 – with a high-readiness Spearhead Force at its core – and set up eight small headquarters (NATO Force Integration Units) to facilitate training and reinforcements.