Canadians complete rewarding multinational exercise at USAG Hohenfels

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Article / October 14, 2016

By: Captain L. Benak, Public Affairs Officer, Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force

From September 26 to October 15 2016, approximately 190 Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force (LTF) soldiers participated in the multinational exercise, ALLIED SPIRIT V, at United States Army Garrison (USAG) Hohenfels, in Germany.

ALLIED SPIRIT V combined over 2,500 personnel and a multitude of resources from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

On the day of their deployment into the training area, visiting Canadian Joint Operations Command Chief of Staff Operations, Major-General (MGen) William Seymour took the opportunity to address the troops.  “An important part of my job is that I get to talk to other nations and hear them tell me how valuable you are. I hope you’re getting a sense of the importance of what you do and I thank you for all you do,” said MGen Seymour.

With these words, the LTF integrated into the Multinational Combat Brigade and stepped off to conduct operations for two weeks inside the 40,000 acre area of operations.

Waiting for them was a 500-soldier strong opposing force who immediately took the initiative and began probing and harassing the Blue Force. The frenetic pace accompanied by rainy days and freezing nights made for a grueling start of the exercise.

Over in the rear echelon, the Logistics Support Group (LSG) quickly adapted to the austere conditions to sustain and support Alpha Company’s combat operations.  Never far from the simulated danger, flexibility was the key as the logistics team maintained a moment’s ‘Notice to Move’ posture within an area as saturated with opposing forces as it was with rainfall. Through their dogged determination, the LSG’s constant resupply missions to the front lines helped sustain the fight throughout the exercise.

Up at Alpha Company, after repelling countless attacks and tactically manoeuvring throughout the area of operations, the Blue Force was able to seize the initiative and transition into seeking out and destroying the enemy. Pushing through until the last of the enemy was defeated, the Land Task Force soldiers successfully consolidated with their allies to put an end to the kinetic operations.

 “It’s an enormous privilege to be here and to have witnessed the LTF soldiers working so well with some of our closest NATO allies. Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT V was an excellent proving ground that effectively demonstrated the LTF’s interoperability in a complex multinational context,” said Commander LTF, Major Lonnie Campbell.

After two challenging weeks in the field, the entire Multinational Combat Brigade had indeed proven something of much bigger sense than just a tactical victory:  the NATO model for training among allies is something that works, and works very well.

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