UK Army Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, addresses various leaders from UK Defence and NATO at ARRCADE NELSON, 7 Dec 2016.
IMJIN BARRACKS, UK – As they approach the year’s end, the servicemen and women of Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps have been certified for their role in the NATO Response Force (NRF) and are looking to take their place as the Land Component Command in 2017. While preparing for NRF, leaders are also looking to what possibly lies ahead both next year and beyond.
In order to do so, HQ ARRC held Exercise ARRCADE NELSON here, 7 Dec, an exercise designed to focus leaders on their role today, tomorrow and beyond. In order to get different perspectives , speakers from the US and UK militaries and academia.
The keynote address was given by the UK Army Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, who spoke about where we are now and where to go from here.
"The battlefield now is increasingly decentralized,” said Carter. "We must treat training as surrogate warfare. Given the nature of the modern environment, we need to think hard about how we genuinely develop junior leaders who are going to have to innovate in tactical terms in what is a much more complex environment than I grew up in.”
Taking the need to be forward-thinking and innovative seriously, HQ ARRC invited August Cole, non-resident senior fellow of Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council and co-author of the novel Ghost Fleet to speak during the exercise. The novel, which looks at the future of warfare and how future wars might be fought, gave Cole a unique perspective that he shared with the attendees.
Cole walked the audience through a possible future scenario: a thought provoking journey through what a future war might look like for HQ ARRC and NATO, encouraging them to think and plan further out than what are historically called battles, and to make sure some thought is given to unthinkable scenarios in the future in order to ultimately save lives and mitigate disasters.
As one on NATO’s nine High Readiness Forces Land, HQ ARRC is designed to serve several different purposes when needed. While their role next year is as the Land Component Command for the NATO Response Force, they also have to remain prepared to operate as a corps headquarters and combined joint headquarters, a point that was reiterated by Carter.
"I think the corps level of command is increasingly becoming more relevant - I suspect this headquarters is optimizing itself at corps-level operations but being able to adjust from that to a land component headquarters if necessary,” he said.
While HQ ARRC remains ready for the NRF mission next year, exercises like NELSON ensure that they continue to innovate and increase their ability to adapt to any role, or any mission given to them by NATO.
"As the nature of warfare shifts over time, so must we,” said Lieutenant General Tim Radford, commander of HQ ARRC. "This study day seeks to bring the latest issues and thinking together and set the stage for our training year in 2017 as we look to ‘recalibrate’ to focusing on corps-level operations.”
"Much can be taken from history but in order to succeed and to stay ahead, we need to look hard at what the future might bring and what we might do,” he continued. "Today has done exactly that and we have benefitted enormously from the distinguished speakers who have brought their expertise, thoughts and candour to the day.”
Story by HQ ARRC Public Affairs Office