STUTTGART, Germany -- Special operations forces joined over 3,000 service members representing 15 NATO and partner nations to participate in exercise Allied Spirit VI at 7th Army Training Command's Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, March 8-31, 2017.
Allied Spirit VI is a multinational exercise training service members representing the NATO and partner nations of Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. on integrating special operations and conventional forces to increase their effectiveness.
"The primary purpose of this exercise is providing a venue for the 1st Latvian Brigade to train in a Joint Task Force environment and increase their interoperability with both U.S. units as well as other multinational forces," said Maj. Robert Temple, SOF cell planner at JMRC. "Within that JTF environment they have a replicated special operations component command."
During the exercise, Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) trained on their advise and assist mission while working closely with Estonian, who provided mission command of all SOF elements, and Macedonian special operations mission command elements.
"We are here supporting our Estonian Special Operation Task Group brethren. They are one of our long-time partners that we've worked with and continue to work with in our Partnership Development Program," explained a company commander for 1-10 SFG (A). "Additionally, we get to work with the Latvians which are another one of our primary partner nations."
The PDP's mission is to increase the ability of SOF forces to work together seamlessly while bolstering the capabilities of partner nations within U.S. European Command's area of responsibility.
"In addition to developing the capabilities of vital NATO allies, we get to exercise a number of our staff battle drills, call for fire and clearance of lines, some of the traditional skills that we have not always been required to participate in within the last 10-15 years of fighting," the commander said.
JMRC is the only Europe-based Combat Training Center that trains leaders, staffs and units from the U.S. as well as our multinational partners, to conduct unified land operations anywhere in the world.
"JMRC is a place where all the conditions are set to conduct different tactical operations in rural and built up areas in as realistic environment as possible during peace time and training with multinational forces," said a senior leader of the Estonian SOTG.
All the participants, despite their nationalities, were motivated and eager to work together according to the senior leader, which helped solve procedural differences and built a ready and relevant force.