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Dec 1 2021

Exercise Steadfast Leda 2021 Builds Inoperability, Integrity in Alliance

SENNELAGER, Germany – NATO was founded in 1949 with 12 countries committed to a political and military alliance for collective defence and security. Now 30 countries, the 72-year-old-union mutually plans joint military exercises like STEADFAST LEDA 2021 to prepare for operations in peace, crisis and conflict.

"Having 20 nations representing Allied Rapid Reaction Corps does have a strength of commitment, and that's not commitment just politically," said British Army Major General Kevin Copsey, Chief of Staff Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

"We have a unity of effort and a unity of purpose that demonstrates that NATO … deters potential adversaries and has the ability to defend Europe in a time of crisis."

Soldiers from 1st (UK) Signal Brigade deployed to Germany and Poland in early October to set up the training sites for the NATO-sponsored command post and computer assisted exercise. The main effort for the training aimed to certify NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Spain (NRDC-ESP) as NATO's corps warfighting headquarters through a virtual scenario against a peer-adversary in all domains of warfare and was supported by NATO allies.

Multinational military leaders gather around a map during a future operations brief on Exercise Steadfast Leda 2021, in Sennelager, Germany, 18 November 2021. (Photo by Sgt Paul Shaw)
Multinational soldiers from the ARRC, NRDC-Greece, 1st German Armoured Division, 1st Canadian Division, the Italian Acqui Division, 3rd (UK) Division, the Czech CBRN Brigade, and U.S. Army Europe and Africa's V Corps, collaboratively planned and exercised real world deployment capability and scenario missions in support of collective security goals.

"The ARRC needs to have the ability to deploy expeditionary, to deploy away from the mainland UK," said Copsey. "It also allowed us to prove that we can still deploy in a war fighting role and function despite the very real restraints of a global pandemic."

I think most people now recognise the threat of conflict may be mitigated by political actions and diplomacy," he said. What we now try to do is to operate below the threshold of armed conflict.
Multinational staff planners from the Multidomain Operations Cell train in a simulated scenario during Exercise Steadfast Leda 2021, in Sennelager, Germany, 19 November 2021.
(Photo by Sgt Paul Shaw)

"We are judged not only on what we do, and what we pertain to in operation in order to win, but we are going to be judged on how we win," said Doctor Donette Murray, the ARRC Human Security Advisor. "That's where human security comes in."

Human security focuses on freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to live in dignity and looks to protect civilians and cultural property, including children in armed conflict, people affected by sexual violence, gender conflict and human trafficking.211126-stle-day-11-027-KzF3S1

Doctor Donette Murray, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Human Security Advisor, briefs Major General Kevin Copsey, Chief of Staff ARRC, during Exercise Steadfast Leda 2021 in Sennelager Germany, 26 November 2021. (Photo by Sgt Paul Shaw)

Murray said interoperability is foremost important and achieved by training and operating together to develop, understand and apply human security as observed from lessons learned from recent operations.

STLE21 builds on the lessons learned from previous exercises and contributes to improved interoperability and defence reform in the alliance.
"I think the strength of an organisation like this is its willingness to actually sit down, talk through, think through and come up with problem solving solutions to the issues," added Murray. "If we can get that with 20 member states, then you have real unity." 

Story by Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Public Affairs Office

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