HOHENFELS, Germany — Exercise Allied Spirit 22 kicked off in earnest Jan. 21, as Soldiers transitioned into the force-on-force phase at 7th Army Training Command’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center at Hohenfels, Germany.
Approximately 5,200 soldiers from 15 nations are participating in the long-planned exercise from Jan. 21 to Feb. 5.
Allied Spirit 22 is a U.S. Army Europe and Africa directed, 7th Army Training Command conducted, Joint Multinational Readiness Center hosted training exercise, designed to enable integration between allies and partners in a competitive combat training environment. Unlike the Saber Junction and Combined Resolve series at JMRC, which feature U.S. brigade combat teams in a lead role augmented by allies and partners, Allied Spirit places an allied unit as the main training audience.
Allied Spirit 22 is led by the German Army’s 1st Armoured Division, whose staff is providing command and control over a multinational brigade and other constructive elements. Based in Oldenburg, the division is part of NATO’s 1st German Netherlands Corps.
“Allied Spirit 22 is a very important exercise for 1st Armoured Division,” said Brig. Gen. Heico Huebner, the division’s commander. “It provides excellent training opportunities in an outstanding training environment for parts of the German 41st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, as well as the command post of the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, both formations being part of 1st Armoured Division.”
JMRC is the U.S. Army’s only combat training center outside the United States, providing a mobile training capability to Europe that trains leaders, staffs and units up to brigade combat teams alongside allies and partners, to dominate in the conduct of unified land operations anywhere in the world.
“Each rotation incorporates the most up-to-date techniques, tactics, and procedures to ensure the units have the best training environment available,” said U.S. Army Maj. David Allen, operations chief for JMRC.
JMRC is a component of 7th Army Training Command, the U.S. Army’s only overseas training command, setting the training environment and resourcing live, virtual and constructive training for all U.S. Army forces stationed and deployed in Europe and Africa, as well as select U.S. European Command allied and partner units.
“Allied Spirit provides U.S. units with the opportunity to train with allies and partners in a simulated combat environment,” Allen said. “This strengthens the alliance and facilitates the exchange of ideas, techniques, and procedures between militaries.”
As Allied Spirit has progressed since its inception, division headquarters from U.S. and allied units have been integrated into the exercise to increase opportunities to execute division planning and maneuver.
“For the command post of 1st Armoured Division, it is a unique opportunity to act in a multinational environment by commanding an Italian and our own 43rd Dutch Mechanized Brigade, which will enhance significantly our capabilities towards the full operational capability as a warfighting headquarters in a high-intensity warfighting scenario,” Huebner said.
Approximately 1,100 U.S. Soldiers are participating in Allied Spirit 22, including elements from the rotationally deployed Operation Atlantic Resolve armored brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade: 3rd Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Riley, Kansas; and 2nd Squadron, 227th General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Elements from the Ansbach, Germany-based 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, are also participating.
“Allied Spirit gives us the chance to interact and work with important allies and partners,” said U.S. Army Col. Reggie Harper, commander of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. “This is an excellent training opportunity for Air Cav. to improve as a unit and as a member of the combined arms team.”
For more photos, video and stories from the exercise go to the Allied Spirit feature page.