(ST. Mawgan, Cornwall) — What question comes to mind when you hear Exercise ARRCADE FUSION? Just another Army training exercise?
Exercise AF is multinational joint operations. It is the largest exercise held in the UK hosted by Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) and its 15 partner nations. In addition, more than 1500 multinational active duty service members and reservists, civilian personnel, as well as personnel from Australia, Jordan, New Zealand, United Emirates and Qatar participate in HQ ARRC’s annual exercise.
FUSION is innovation in a complex environment. The range of missions has grown from previous exercises, but the subordinate units assigned to the simulation have decreased, demanding that the ARRC wisely prioritize missions and resources against the threats presented, explained Lt. Col. Tim Gittins, deputy assistant plans officer.
The simulation injects hundreds of activities each day, each requiring thought, planning, communication, and staff action. The problems range from formal military aggression to political decisions, from economic disruption to humanitarian crisis.
FUSION is Joint Operations at the Theater level. Building upon the progress made during FUSION 13 last year, FUSION 14 now fully tests the air and sea command capability in addition to land operations.
"Now I am going to ask you to work at the operational level down to the tactical support and formation, but understand the suited complications or implications of our actions,” said Lt. Gen. Tim Evans, commander HQ ARRC (COMARRC). "For us as a headquarters that’s going to be quite difficult because we are stretching strategic to tactical, which probably is going to be our Achilles heel because that isn’t our normal position where the norm is our land component.”
But preparation and practice strengthen the whole organization, and FUSION is only part of the larger training framework that makes the ARRC fully capable to achieve its mission.
"We are a combined joint task force because now we are HQ Tactical Force,” Evans said. "To succeed we have to be a combined joint interagency inter-governmental and a multinational headquarters,” he concluded.
The ARRC trains to be a NATO rapid deployment corps held by the Alliance on short-notice, rapid recall for response to missions later in 2015 that require a Joint Task Force headquarters.
Additional notes for the Editor:
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 15 Partner Nations contributing the remaining complement of personnel (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, and the United States).
ARRC Media Relations Officer, Major Charles "Kip” Patterson
Phone: +44 (0) 1452 718715
or +44 (0) 7518 411764
or +44 (0) 7796 998138
For more photographs about this and other ARRC stories, please visit HQ ARRC on Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/54973278@N03/
For more information on the ARRC: www.arrc.nato.int
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