Nov 3 2020
MULTINATIONAL TROOPS PREPARE TO START EXERCISE LOYAL LEDA 2020
SOUTH CERNEY, Gloucestershire, U.K. - Multinational units from across Europe and the U.S. are participating in a key NATO exercise to validate the U.K.-based Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).
US and UK troops arriving at the exercise site in South Cerney, Gloucestershire for Exercise Loyal Leda 2020.
Exercise 'Loyal Leda 2020' is designed to test the ARRC as it takes up the mantle as NATO's 'warfighting corps', ready to command up to 120,000 multinational troops in support of the Alliance.
In a video conference with personnel before the exercise the Corps's commander,
Lieutenant General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne, said:
"I want to start by commending everyone for the hard work that has been done to establish ARRC as the Warfighting Corps.
Loyal Leda is intended to be a statement on our collective ability, as an Alliance, to be ready regardless of the challenges we face.
While collaboration and improving interoperability with multinational units is key, the ARRC will also test innovative new concepts and technologies, to modernise the headquarters and support future real-world UK Defence and NATO requirements.
The experimentation programme and concepts being developed include 'operating dispersed' across a number of sites, making it harder for an enemy to find and target command post locations, and new equipment and technologies to make the headquarters smaller and more agile. This will reduce troop numbers and the physical, thermal and electromagnetic footprint of command posts, increase commanders' situational awareness, and offer new tools for flexible and digital ways of working.
Multi-national troops at the exercise site in South Cerney, Gloucestershire for Exercise Loyal Leda 2020.
While the exercise has been in planning for the last two years, it has been significantly redesigned due to the Covid pandemic. In the UK, allies from the 21 nations who work at the ARRC, alongside other NATO experts and key enablers, formed 'family cohorts' and were admitted to the exercise after Covid testing. They will work together for the duration of the exercise, operating in an austere, but Covid-protected environment in the south west of England.
Exercise participants will now grapple with a complex scenario - in typical British weather.