GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Approximately 100 Soldiers from the newly reactivated V Corps arrived at the Nuremberg Airport on May 19, 2021 to participate in DEFENDER-Europe 21, a large-scale exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO allies and partner militaries.
V Corps has a distinguished history of serving the nation in peace and in combat over the past century, much of it through actions in Europe. V Corps was established and organized on July 18, 1918 in France during World War I, where its hard fighting and rapid advances made during the last phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive earned it the name, “Victory Corps.”
V Corps activated again for World War II, landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and later becoming a fixture in Germany throughout the Cold War. The corps eventually deactivated in 2013 as part of the Army’s post-Cold War drawdown in Europe but was reactivated again at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Oct. 16, 2020 due to an Army requirement to provide the U.S. European Command with increased command and control capability in Europe.
The mission of V Corps is to conduct operational planning, oversee rotational and permanently stationed tactical units in Europe and provide mission command of U.S. Army, Allied, and Partner nation tactical formations, as required.
“DEFENDER-Europe 21 is a critical exercise that will provide V Corps with another great opportunity to build readiness in our march towards full operational capability, and promote interoperability as we work alongside allies and partners,” said Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, V Corps commanding general. “We are looking forward to this chance to work closely with U.S. Army Europe and Africa and demonstrate U.S. resolve and commitment to Europe.”
V Corps will participate in the DEFENDER-Europe 21 Command Post Exercise, along with NATO’s Multinational Corps-Southeast and the newly consolidated U.S. Army Europe and Africa headquarters. The CPX will take place at several distributed locations to include the Joint Multinational Simulation Center (JMSC) in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and Fort Knox, Kentucky. This training event will demonstrate V Corps’ ability to command multinational land forces in a joint and combined training environment and is another step in the unit reaching scheduled full operational capability by Nov. 1, 2021.
In order to set the stage for V Corps' participation, JMSC is providing a constructive training environment that will link the exercises Swift Response, Immediate Response, and Saber Guardian with the operating environment that V Corps will experience during the CPX.
“By establishing this operational and strategic training environment, we will enable the accomplishment of the DEFENDER Europe 21 training objectives with the ultimate aim of providing U.S., NATO, and partner forces an opportunity to enhance their readiness in large scale ground combat operations," said Col. Heath McCormick, director of JMSC & Regional Simulation Capability-Europe. “This is an opportunity to exercise their mission command of subordinate elements in this distributed environment and successfully set the conditions for them to prepare, train, and hone their staffs, prior to executing their Warfighter Exercise this Fall.”