Updated: 30-Nov-2006 NATO Update

2 Nov. 2006

New NATO intelligence technology on trial in Greece

Video of the exercise Trial Spartan Hammer (WMV/5572Kb) Photos
High resolution photos of the exercise Photos

NATO tested new methods for conducting joint intelligence operations in Trial Spartan Hammer in Greece, 2-16 November 2006.

Over 2 000 air, sea, and ground personnel from 14 NATO countries, including four special operations units, participated in the exercise. 

The trial coupled NATO countries’ unique equipment with common standards in order to build a more effective intelligence capability against threats ranging from suicide bombers to surface-to-air missiles. The chief objective of the trial was to test new methods for conducting cooperative intelligence operations, in order to obtain more refined actionable intelligence for commanders.

Over 35 ground systems were used, along with 37 aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and seven warships.

Better intelligence for NATO commanders

“Trial Spartan Hammer was a milestone for NATO.  It was the largest joint signals intelligence and electronic support measure trial in NATO’s history, making significant advances in bringing actionable intelligence to the military commander in the field,“ said Mr. Marshall Billingslea, NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment.

 The management of sensor information was coordinated by a new operational entity called the Signals and Electronic Warfare Operations Centre (SEWOC). The SEWOC intelligence provided critical support to the Commander.   

"In Afghanistan, NATO faces an adversary who is quick to adapt, and who operates in small units that are hard to detect and accurately identify.  The need for timely, accurate location and identification of threats is crucial," said Mr. Billingslea, "Trial Spartan Hammer 06 proved a major success in this respect, as we practised new ways to work together in the intelligence fields to counter the terrorist threat."

The standards and interoperability procedures tested during Spartan Hammer ’06 streamline the NATO information sharing process, allowing intelligence information to be rapidly shared via a network.

This speeding up of the process improves the situational awareness of NATO forces, allowing NATO commanders to make better informed decisions.

Signals Intelligence/Electronic Support Measures Working Group

Trial Spartan Hammer ’06 was organized under the auspices of NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment and the Conference of National Armaments Directors.  The trial was conducted by the NATO Signals Intelligence/Electronic Support Measures Working Group, a unique group of experts – including industry representatives, NATO specialists, and operational personnel - which has been created to address critical intelligence sharing requirements within the Alliance. This group received extensive support from Greece, the host nation.

This was the second in a series of trials, the first – Trial Hammer took place in April 2005.

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