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US, Italian air forces, NATO work together for exercise Spartan Alliance 18-8

US, Italian air forces, NATO work together for exercise Spartan Alliance 18-8

Maj. Gen. Jon Thomas, left, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration director, and Italian air force Capts. Tormase Nugnes and Gabriele Nobili, both pilots, monitor and record coordinates during exercise Spartan Alliance 18-8, July 19, 2018, at Einsiedlerhof, Germany. Spartan Alliance is an exercise operated solely on simulators networked together from various locations in Germany and Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachel Waller)

EINSIEDLERHOF, Germany (AFNS) --

More than 80 service members, civilians and contractors from U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the Italian air force and NATO participated in exercise Spartan Alliance 18-8, July 17 – 20, 2018, from three locations in Germany and Italy.
 
Spartan Alliance 18-8 is a large command and control weapon system, air and ground simulator training exercise with virtual and constructive aircraft.
 
“[The crews] complete the mission together, but networked from their own bases,” said Lt. Col. Steven Storch,  Warrior Preparation Center special projects officer. “This is important because it offers a much lower cost method of training together, ensuring we can communicate effectively, and successfully, to complete the mission together. In an alliance that speaks many different languages, this is important.”  
 
Since its inception in 2015, Spartan Alliance has continued to grow. This iteration is the first time the IAF has participated in this type of exercise outside of their country.
 
Italy started working in the field of simulations and simulators last year, said Lt. Gen. Settimo Caputo, IAF deputy chief of staff. He stated using the simulators is beneficial to the IAF because they are able to create complex scenarios that aircrews wouldn’t have been able to practice in the past.
 
“This is a very great opportunity to start seeing what we can do in this field," said Caputo. “We are participating with many simulators because we believe in this area and we are planning for the future and next year, we can provide more effort to this field, so thank you for this great opportunity for the Italian air force.”
 
Spartan Alliance will continue with two more iterations this year.