Exercise Watch: NATO spielt Verteidigung Estlands durch

"Italien Soldiers working on the Map during Exercise Trident Lance 2014 in Grafenwoehr, Germany.  TRLE 14 is an Allied Command Transformation (ACT) sponsored event designed to train, exercise and evaluate Land Command (LANDCOM) as the Land Component Command Headquarters (LCC) for Joint Force Command Naples.  As LCC, LANDCOM will command multiple NATO Corps Hqs conducting full spectrum operations in an environment larger than Major Joint Operations, involving high intensity  combat operations."

Hier in Deutschland hat’s wohl kaum jemand mitbekommen (ich auch nicht), dass die NATO in den vergangenen Tagen mal durchgespielt hat, wie man das Bündnismitglied Estland gegen einen russischen Angriff verteidigen könnte. Und diese Übung, Trident Lance 2014,  fand vor allem in Grafenwöhr in Bayern statt:

NATO’s Allied Land Command has finally reached full operational capacity, LANDCOM commander Lt. Gen. John Nicholson said at the close on Wednesday of NATO’s largest training exercise since the end of the Cold War.
One aim of the exercise, Trident Lance, was to test how well a fully operational LANDCOM — which is charged with improving the effectiveness and reaction time of the alliance’s land forces — could respond to an international crisis. In this case, the scenario dealt with the hypothetical invasion of NATO member Estonia, which borders Russia at NATO’s northeastern corner.

berichtet die US-Soldatenzeitung Stars&Stripes.

Die größte NATO-Übung seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges. Genauer, nach Angaben des Joint Warfare Center der NATO:

With more than 2,000 personnel operating in six countries, this distributed multi-Corps, command post exercise/computer assisted exercise is the largest of its kind since the Cold War, testing NATO’s ability to coordinate and execute a NATO-led Article 5 Collective Defence operation in a multinational environment.

oder noch etwas genauer, nach den Angaben des Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) der NATO im türkischen Izmir:

The exercise has been ongoing at the Joint Multinational Training Center, Grafenwoehr, Germany since 30 November and will wrap up on 13 December.
 In a first of its kind exercise since the 1990; three corps-level sized military units,  augmented by various international military support units & agencies, performed their core functions in a land-based operation, certifying LANDCOM’s ability to conduct command and control of multinational forces should the Alliance need to conduct a Major Joint Operation.

Eine Übung, die vor allem eine mögliche russische Aggression im Blick hat:

„The message of this exercise is to all Europe, specifically our 28 NATO Allies.  It talks to the readiness of NATO to meet challenges at speed with capable forces,“ said Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove. „As you have seen over the past few months, Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine have triggered the alliance to begin a series of assurance and adaptation measures to assure our Allies and adapt our military organizations to the new security environment in Europe. We are evolving in order to be more responsive to challenges to any part of our Alliance.“

In Interviews mit NBC News werden die NATO-Kommandeure noch etwas deutlicher:

Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and other intimidating shows of force have created a „very different kind of scenario“ for NATO, according to the defense alliance’s top commander in Europe. (…) In its latest move to reassure nervous allies that border Russia, NATO leaders met in Germany this week to analyze the results of Exercise Trident Lance 2014. Its training scenario dealt with the hypothetical invasion of NATO member Estonia and included everything from missile strikes to cyber attacks. It was the first NATO exercise of its kind since the end of the Cold War.

Um nicht missverstanden zu werden: Solche (Groß)Übungen sind ebenso berechtigt wie nötig. Ich finde es nur erstaunlich, dass sie in der deutschen Öffentlichkeit nicht wahrgenommen werden und offensichtlich keine Rolle spielen. Aber das gilt ja auch für die Bundeswehr – eine Suche nach Trident Lance auf der Bundeswehr-Webseite erbringt genau Null Treffer.

(Foto: Italienische Soldaten in Grafenwöhr bei der Übung Trident Lance 2014 – NATO/SHAPE)