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    U.S. Special Operations Command Conducts First-Ever Demonstration of the Joint-Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

    Andoya, Norway – As part of the U.S. European Command Operational Series ATREUS, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe conducted the first-ever demonstration of the palletized precision munition in the European Theater at Andoya Space Range on Nov. 9, 2022. This operational series is designed to bring NATO allies and partners together through training on capabilities throughout the theater.
    “This effort is meant to increase integration of both conventional and Special Operations Forces from participating nations and enhance interoperability with our NATO allies and European partners,” Operation ATREUS lead Lt. Col. Lawrence Melnicoff said. “Routine engagements like those conducted throughout ATREUS training events enable effective responses for any contingency, as well as continuation of training, and increased readiness and collective defense.”

    The ATREUS series began in April 2021 to identify and conduct training opportunities on capabilities found throughout Europe that enable response options for U.S. and NATO allies and partners. Previous ATREUS training events have focused on the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) capability with participation from Romania, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Latvia.
    This week’s exercise is the seventh iteration of ATREUS in the European theater, but the first combined and joint effort with participation from ally nations of Norway, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom, as well as U.S. Air Force Europe-Air Forces Africa, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command Pacific, and U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command.
    “Participation from our allies is the cornerstone of ATREUS iterations. Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom have been regular participants in the most recent ATREUS iterations throughout 2021 and 2022, but the global effort with our fellow geographic combatant commands makes this a historic demonstration of allied solidarity worldwide,” Melnicoff said.
    In the most recent ATREUS iteration, SOCEUR has expanded on previous concepts with the integration of AFSOC supported Rapid Dragon program, led and developed by the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) Office. The Rapid Dragon Palletized Effects System, capable of deploying long-range cruise missiles using standard airdrop procedures from a cargo aircraft like the MC-130J Commando II operated by the U.S. Air Force’s 67th Special Operations Squadron, 352d Special Operations Wing.
    “The Rapid Dragon Experimentation Program is appropriately named, as it advanced rapidly from a concept on paper to a live fire using a developmental prototype in 24 months,” said Dr. Dean Evans, Rapid Dragon program manager. “Now less than three years from the program’s inception, Rapid Dragon is being used by SOCEUR in the Arctic Circle. This is a testament to the team’s focus on rapid fielding to meet warfighter needs.”
    Through ATREUS, SOCEUR continues to demonstrate the fusion of disparate capabilities in the theater in order to accomplish one common goal: a concept that has garnered cross-combatant command support.
    “AFSOC’s comparative advantage is and always has been our human capital,” LT. Gen. Jim Slife, AFSOC commander said. “AFSOC’s greatest value to the joint force as well as allies and partners is when we find unconventional ways to deliver airpower. The future is going to be different than what we have experienced for the last 20 years, but one thing I’m certain of is AFSOC will be ready for whatever the future operation environment brings.”



    Date Taken: 11.09.2022
    Date Posted: 11.09.2022 06:44
    Story ID: 432945
    Location: ANDENES, 18, NO 
    Hometown: ST. LOUIS, MO, US

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