STAVANGER, Norway – The EUROCORPS Joint Operations Planning Group (JOPG) and the Spanish Joint Logistic Support Group (JLSG) concluded the two-week crisis response planning (CRP) for NATO Exercise STEADFAST JACKAL 2023 (STJA23) at the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) on March 31.
Sponsored by Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and directed by the JWC, STJA23 will train and certify EUROCORPS as a NATO Joint Task Force Headquarters for 2024, together with its associated JLSG and the Spanish Joint Force Air Component (JFAC). The EUROCORPS is commanded by Lieutenant General Peter Devogelaere.
Planning for STJA23 began 11 months ago. The non-Article 5 exercise is scheduled to take place this upcoming winter. The CRP, held in two parts starting with the strategic-level, aimed at synchronizing and refining the plans that have been in coordination since the initial planning conference in January.
The CRP will contribute to the development of the concept of operations (CONOPS) and the operations plan (OPLAN) for the exercise, due to be finalized in May and June, respectively, based on the non-Article 5 training scenario created by the JWC. The CRP phase also included an Operational Liaison Reconnaissance Team (OLRT) deployment to the Multinational Joint Warfare Centre (MJWC) in Türkiye from March 17-24.
The operational and tactical-level exercise will focus on the land domain, but it will significantly incorporate all of the domains to include air, maritime, space and cyberspace.
The JWC’s lead planner for STJA23, Lieutenant Colonel James, explained that during the CRP phase, the JWC’s Advisory Team supported the EUROCORPS exercise planners, offering advice that is important for the development of their CONOPS and OPLAN. The JWC also deployed subject matter experts, scenario and grey cell teams to support the OLRT.
James said: “Our internal JWC planning for these events has been significant and greatly enhanced the opportunities for realistic training for these NATO organizations. It is through these and similar efforts that our NATO Response Force (NRF) headquarters are well prepared.”
The JWC’s Chief Grey Cell, Major Alan, said: “The JWC Grey Cell plays a key role in the STEADFAST JACKAL series of exercises, which focuses on planning and executing crisis response operations in a hybrid security environment, while practicing NATO’s comprehensive approach using a complex civil-military scenario.”
The lead planner for EUROCORPS, Colonel Geraud, explained that as NATO Joint Task Force Headquarters in 2024, the EUROCORPS could be “deployed for crisis response operations, peace support operations, non-combat evacuation operations, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance”.
Geraud said: “Therefore, such an exercise executed in a privileged training environment with thorough advice from the JWC’s experts definitely offers a precious learning opportunity. Strengths and challenges of the JOPG are detected, rooms for improvement are identified. This will greatly help doing the right things right, in case we have to plan for a real campaign. I could affirm that we are ready!”
Photos from STJA23 Crisis Response Planning