HQ ARRC executes Exercise ARRCADE LIGHTNING 2017

Participants of Exercise ARRCADE LIGHTNING 2017 gather for a group photo with Poland's president, President Andrzej Duda (centre), outside Belvedere Palace in Warsaw, Poland Sept. 25. (NATO photo by US Army Staff Sergeant Mike Sword)
Oct 6, 2017

INNSWORTH, UK – After many months of detailed planning and coordination, Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC), executed Exercise ARRCADE LIGHTNING 2017 September 25-28 across select countries of the Baltic region.

LIGHTNING served as a terrain walk and study of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia for ARRC and division-level senior leaders in lead-up to the ARRC’s capstone, fictional-based command post exercise – Exercise ARRCADE FUSION 2017 – to be held later this year.

Starting in Warsaw the ARRC’s entourage met with dignitaries including Poland’s president, President Andrzej Duda, and head of the National Security Bureau, Paweł Soloch, whilst also receiving informational briefs on the countries of Poland and Lithuania before moving on to walk the ground in the Suwalki Gap.

In Lithuania the entourage conducted a study of Napoleon’s 1812 crossing of the River Neman and urban operations in Šiauliai. The exercise then concluded with a visit to Riga where the entourage received informational briefs on the countries of Latvia and Estonia followed by a discussion of lessons learned during LIGHTNING and how they may be applied during FUSION.

All in all the exercise was a resounding success.

"This terrain walk was an excellent opportunity to study an important region, to meet with senior civilian and military and leaders and walk the ground over which we’ll [simulate] exercise in November,” said British Army Lieutenant General Tim Radford, the ARRC’s commander. "It’s been enlightening and hugely beneficial and I’m grateful to the Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian Ministries of Defence for helping to make it such a success.”

Of the more than 40 senior officers who accompanied Radford on the exercise, four were his subordinate division commanders from the Danish Division, Italian ‘Acqui’ Division, 1st Canadian Division and 3rd (UK) Division as well as the deputy commander for the 4th (US) Infantry Division. Rounding out the entourage was a host of external supporting unit commanders and principal staff officers within HQ ARRC.

All told, more than 50 individuals participated in LIGHTNING who covered more than 500 miles of terrain.
Story by HQ ARRC Public Affairs Office

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