POZNAN, Poland — V Corps and NATO allies conducted an exercise using simulation technology across three nations to assess their combined ability to respond to crisis or contingency operations.
The exercise, Allied Spirit 23, was conducted from March 2 through March 9, 2023, and was executed by personnel from the main command post at Fort Knox, Kentucky; V Corps forward command post at Camp Kosciuszko, Poland; and Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany.
"Allied Spirit was a unique exercise for us,” said Maj. Matthew Hoffman, V Corps Forward chief of operations, “We only had one element that was a U.S. formation, and the rest were our international partners.”
Simulation support was provided by the 7th Army Training Command’s Joint Multinational Simulation Center alongside contributions from Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.
Allied Spirit was designed to test V Corps and their NATO allies’ abilities to employ rapid decision making while maintaining interoperability across a geographically dispersed area, as well as testing operating procedures against a realistic threat during a simulated tactical scenario.
“There are whole lot of human and procedural differences between the different nations.” Hoffman said. “Everything from doctrine and communication could vary, but we were able to successfully work around these problems together and completed a successful exercise.”
Hoffman expressed how impressed he was with the performance since it was the first time this team had conducted Allied Spirit.
“There’s a couple good things that come with having a young team,” said Hoffman. “People aren’t coming in with pre-established bad habits and we can mold a cohesive team with our leaders to ensure success.”
Master Sgt. David Singleton, V Corps Forward current operations sergeant major, shared a similar sentiment as well as observed some challenges that popped up along the way.
“This was a big learning curve for the team,” Singleton said. “But also, a great success. Integrating with our allies had some challenges to it. We all have different lingo and acronyms for things and so that made getting on the same page a little difficult. Which made it rewarding when everything came together and we cleared that hurdle.”
This is the first of many exercises planned throughout 2023 to provide accurate assessments of the interoperable systems built with several NATO nations as well as V Corps abilities to fight and win in a complex operational environment.
V Corps is working alongside NATO allies and regional security partners to provide command and control for rotational and assigned units in the European theater while building local community relationships.