The Netherland’s Armed Force has been organising this unique exercise for over a decade, together with its international partners. JPOW was organized for the first time in 1996 based on the Missile Defence experiences during their deployments to the Middle East in 1991. Throughout the years, JPOW expanded its scope and evolved from a small-scale initiative to the largest Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise in Europe. JPOW offers the participants a unique opportunity to experiment and exercise Integrated Air and Missile Defence in an international Joint and Combined network-centric environment. The most unique aspect of the JPOW initiative is the concept of exercise analysis and daily individual debriefs, which results in a daily implementation of "Lessons Learned" and subsequently a steep learning curve. It also serves as a test bed of many new developments on weapon-, sensor- and information systems and it contributes to a better understanding of Joint and Combined operations.
Existing and near future missile defence systems within our joint inventory cannot handle the complex air and missile threat to our forces, units and to the civilian population. In many countries proliferation is ongoing of relatively inexpensive weapon systems such as tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. At the same time the capabilities of these systems, in terms of range and accuracy, are rapidly improving. What is more, all these systems could also be carrying weapons of mass destruction and therefore present a substantial threat. Although anti- and counter proliferation comes first, we must be able to provide a more than credible, near to leak-proof, defence. A layered defence architecture is needed to counter this emerging threat, thus providing a positive contribution to the consequences of the proliferation of evolving technologies, while protecting the safety and security of the NATO territory. JPOW provides all the participants the opportunity to exercise and train this layered architecture.