NATO's simulation-driven, joint command post exercise TRIDENT LANCE 14 (TRLE 14) concluded on 12 December in six exercise locations, including Stavanger, Norway.

TRLE 14 trained NATO's land-based Command and Control (C2) elements on high-intensity combat, with special focus on the build-up of Follow-on-Forces concept.

"TRLE 14 Master Events List/Master Incidents List (MEL/MIL) execution started on Sunday 30 November, with Exercise Control (EXCON) training and, in the ensuing two weeks, the MEL/MIL team produced credible and stimulating content that resulted in more than 760 injections that challenged Land Command Headquarters and associated Corps in preparing to meet their NATO requirements," Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel Rick Williams, JWC's exercise Chief MEL/MIL said.

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He added: "This exercise required more dynamic scripting than some previous exercises conducted at JWC, which placed a great demand on the Scenario, Opposing Force (OPFOR) and MEL/MIL."

British Army General (Ret.) Sir John Reith KCB CBE, NATO's former Lead Senior Mentor, underlined that exercise TRLE 14 "provided a new challenge to JWC".

The challenge, General Reith explained, was due to the fact that TRLE 14 was "the first tactical level exercise directed and run by JWC, exercising LANDCOM on its first exercise and its subordinate Corps simultaneously. Not only did JWC have to portray high intensity manoeuvre warfare, it also had to weave in hybrid warfare aspects as well."

"The exercise had its moments but in all it has proved a great success," the General continued, adding: "The Training Objectives have all been achieved and worthwhile training benefit has been had by all."

General Sir John Reith also noted that TRLE 14 "highlighted a challenge for NATO and the Nations".

He said: "We have a generation of military used only to low intensity conflict, with their experience based on counter insurgency in Afghanistan. It was manifest on this exercise and during TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 that understanding of the air/land battle, high intensity manoeuvre skills and familiarity with battle procedure is limited within the Training Audience. With NATO's recent focus on potential Article 5 operations, our education and training for military needs to recalibrate to the new realities."

At the conclusion of TRLE 14, General Sir John Reith KCB CBE bid farewell to NATO. He said: "This was my last exercise with NATO, having spent over seven years as the Lead Senior Mentor."

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He then added: "I have watched JWC develop and I compliment all the staff, current and past, in doing an outstanding job. JWC has been pivotal in raising professional standards within NATO; all the HQs, both within the command structure and the force structure, that have been exercised have benefitted immensely from your support in developing their skills and procedures. I have enjoyed working with you all and I wish you continued success."

The participating headquarters to TRLE 14 included NATO's Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) as NATO's single service Land Component Command for Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples), as well as its subordinate Corps, including NATO Rapid Reaction Corps Turkey (NRDC-Turkey), NATO Rapid Reaction Corps Greece (NRDC-Greece), NATO Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) and South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG).

All in all more than 2,000 military and civilian personnel participated to the exercise. Upon completion of TRLE 14, LANDCOM achieved Full Operational Capability as NATO's single service Land Component Command.

TRLE 14 was directed by German Army Major General Reinhard Wolski, Commander Joint Warfare Centre.

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