Several hundred personnel from the Gloucester based headquarters of the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) and its supporting units, are scheduled to deploy to the Baltic Region in October and November 2015 to conduct an exercise called ARRCADE FUSION 15 (AF15).
AF15 is the unit’s annual command post exercise which has been conducted nearly every year since the ARRC’s formation in 1992. For the last two years ARCADE FUSION was conducted at RAF St. Mawgan in Cornwall, UK, but this year the ARRC will deploy its headquarters to Latvia, with elements working concurrently in Lithuania and Estonia.
A command post exercise tests the headquarters’ ability to control simulated troop formations within a challenging and dynamic fictional security or humanitarian crisis. The diverse scenario planned for AF15 provides exercise evaluators with the ability to merge realistic global security threats into one environment to challenge and test the ability of headquarters personnel to devise innovative and pragmatic options.
“This exercise is unique for the ARRC, it is our first time in Latvia and provides an excellent opportunity to deploy and then operate in another NATO country,” said Lt. Gen. Tim Evans, ARRC commander. “My aim is to evaluate our deployability, test key emerging concepts that can be used to develop NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), and strengthen our partnership with our Allies, especially those in the Baltic region.”
And that partnership just grew a little stronger this summer when Estonia added a permanent officer to the ARRC staff. Latvian and Lithuanian officers became permanent participants in summer 2014, improving the headquarters’ expertise during both exercises ARCADE FUSION 14 and TRIDENT JAGUAR 2015 last May.
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) planners set the training agenda for the NATO Force Structure and AF15 is just one of many NATO exercises occurring in the Baltic region this year. These exercises, and other Assurance Measures announced at the Wales Summit, continue to demonstrate to Alliance members and potential adversaries NATO’s ability and commitment to provide collective defence. HQ ARRC is now on standby for the next 10 months and is available to SACEUR as a responsive and capable headquarters ready to deploy worldwide.
HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in Germany, and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.
Although HQ ARRC’s ‘framework nation’ is the United Kingdom, comprising approximately 60 percent of the overall staff, the ARRC is fully multinational in nature and organization, with 16 NATO Nations contributing the remaining complement of personnel (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, and the United States). Including the UK framework nation, the ARRC consists of 17 NATO countries as of June 2015.
ARRC Media Relations Officer