FORT KNOX, Ky. — Winter Strike 23, a V Corps-led command post exercise which involved six units across five different locations, concluded Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.
V Corps headquarters was joined by the 1st Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade to test and evaluate the 41st Field Artillery Brigade’s ability to command and control its many operational teams using a realistic, tactical scenario. The exercise scenario consisted of a multinational crisis requiring contingency support for allied and partner nations in Europe.
“Winter Strike is a multi-nation, multi-division command post exercise focused on validating 41st FAB to improve U.S. combat force readiness defending NATO’s eastern flank,” said Col. James Hite, assistant chief of staff for operations and director of current operations, V Corps. “Additionally, V Corps is expanding U.S. competency in operating in the Mission Partner Environment to strengthen our interoperability mechanisms for fighting alongside our partners and allies in the European theater.”
Exercise Winter Strike is designed to enhance regional partnerships and increase U.S. force integration, readiness and interoperability in a multi-national training environment.
The distributed training environment was facilitated by the Joint Multinational Simulation Center operated by 7th Army Training Command. The environment enabled rapid decision making, validation of operating procedures and synchronization of the staff from Fort Knox and Fort Riley, Kansas, to Germany, Poland and Romania.
“[This exercise] benefits V Corps by demonstrating our ability to command combat ready forces in Europe while operating as a single headquarters from multiple locations,” said Hite. “We simultaneously conduct real-world, current operations from two command posts separated by six time zones of forces dispersed over 10 countries on two continents… while supporting two corps level exercises (Loyal Leda 22 and Winter Strike). Stretching our ability to command forces in complex situations over time and distance prepares V Corps to handle any threat to our NATO allies and partners, and fulfill our mission as the U.S.’s only forward stationed Corps headquarters.”
Polish Maj. Gen. Adam Joks, deputy commanding general of interoperability, V Corps, led the exercise.
“The Winter Strike exercise was a good training event for the V Corps staff to practice mission command during large scale combat operations and high intensity warfare," said Joks. "We synchronized fires between our subordinate units with 41st being the main effort. The Corps had the opportunity to exercise targeting procedures and other war fighting functions in correlation with battle rhythm events at each echelon. It checked our technical interoperability with command and control systems.”
As America's forward deployed Corps in Europe, V Corps works alongside NATO allies and regional security partners to provide combat-credible forces; executes joint, bilateral and multinational training exercises; and provides command and control for rotational and assigned units in the European theater while building local community relationships.