The exercise European Spirit took place between 18-29 April. It was held on the German Training Area Bergen-Hohne and Munster South.

Exercise aim

The exercise aimed to train, exercise and assess the European Union Battle Group (EUBG) 2016-II Force Package integration, communication and logistics interoperability as well as command and control during a Field Training Exercise in order to foster synergy and unit-level cooperation.

Training activities

EUSP16 focussed on tactical level training with allocated units in a live exercise setting and served as the venue for Force Commander validation of national certifications.

During the exercise amongst others the following military tasks and activities were be trained:

  • Conduct Area Control / Security Operations
  • Conduct Cordon and Search operations
  • Conduct Convoy Escort / Convoy Security

Organisation

The exercise was organized by the Headquarters Eurocorps (HQ EC), generally located in Strassbourg in France, on behalf of the Lead Nation Germany to the benefit of the forces constitution the German-frameworked EUBG rotaton 2016-2.

The Eurocorps includes military personnel from 10 countries. It represents a permanent, operational, multinational structure, capable of being deployed into operational at very short notice.

Eurocorps was created by the Republic of France and the Federal Republic of Germany in 1992.
Between 1993 and 1996, three other countries joined the Eurocorps: Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. These 5 framework nations together take all major decisions on the functioning and employment of the Eurocorps together and share all related costs.

Its personnel and material assets give it all the capacity of being committed to a large spectrum of interventions. Apart from participation in the common defence of the Atlantic Alliance, it can be assigned to command the following missions:

  • Humanitarian missions and evacuation of nationals
  • Peace-keeping operations
  • Combat forces missions for crisis management including peace-making

It can intervene in the framework of:

  • The European Union (EU)
  • The United Nations (UN)
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • A common decision taken by the contributing nations

It is a both initial-entry capable in a theater and able to conduct forces of up to 65.000 personnel.

Scenario

The exercise scenario made use of fictitious countries of “Middle Continent” reflecting the real geography of North- and Middle Europe. This scenario suited the requirement for the Field Training exercise in the Bergen-Munster region.

EUBG 2016-2 was committed in a moderate Crisis Response Operation in a fictitious Joint Operations Area (JOA) approximately at 5000km from Brussels.

Participation

In total more than 2600 soldiers from Eurocorps Framework and Associated Nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain), as well as from Troop Contributing Nations (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Ireland) trained together in order to prepare the (EUBG) 2016-2 Force Package for future missions.

Article by Roelof-Jan Gort.
Photo’s by Jeroen van Veenendaal and Roelof-Jan Gort.