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Multinational Exercises

What is it?
Multinational exercises involve the armed forces of more than two countries. Further, a multinational exercise becomes a Joint multinational exercise if more than one (e.g., Army and Air Force) Service participates.

What has the Army done?
The Army's role is to provide forces and Title X support to combatant commanders. One example is the Army's biennial exercise Cooperative Spirit which includes forces from the American, British, Canadian, and Australian (ABCA) program. Cooperative Spirit 2008 (CS08) was conducted in Germany, and included units from the armies of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The aim of CS08 was validating key interoperability solutions, identifying future ABCA program work, and building mutual trust and confidence for future ABCA operations. The objectives of CS08 were: validating interoperability gap-closing solutions; validating the Multilateral Interoperability Program; identifying future ABCA program work; practicing national and coalition command and staff procedures; and achieving national training objectives.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army's highest priority is to support ongoing combat operations. However, the Army and the combatant commanders also recognize the long-term, strategic importance of building the capacity of partner country armies and developing appropriate levels of interoperability with them. Therefore, the Army will provide forces to meet a combatant commander's exercise requirements as force availability allows and conduct its own multinational exercises when feasible.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army describes the current strategic environment as an era of persistent conflict. The demand for U.S. forces will decrease if our partner nations' security forces become capable, and their respective governments feel confident employing them against internal and/or regional threats and/or other governments thus reducing reliance on the U.S. forces. Therefore, building partner security forces capacities, nurturing relationships, and improving interoperability with them is important to the Army.

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