Rukla, Lithuania, 7 April 2017
The enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania has been practising delaying tactics as part of a week-long map exercise. All nations involved in the battlegroup took part in the exercise, including, for the first time, the Norwegian company headquarters.
The goal of this exercise is to practise German command and control processes with the multinational staff in English. After the operational plan has been approved by the Lithuanian brigade commander, the companies receive their orders. They are sent out to explore the terrain. During the exercise, delaying tactics will be practised under the command of the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade, with the aim of impeding and weakening the enemy’s offence manoeuvre for at least 24 hours.
The exercise begins
The start of the exercise sees the commander of the Iron Wolf Brigade issuing everyone’s orders. Over the following days, all parts of the staff will play a role, with each element’s capabilities tested on the basis of the prevailing circumstances. In the evenings, each section gives a briefing on the progress they have made. This results in an increasingly detailed operational picture over the course of the exercise, which ultimately feeds into the battlegroup’s operation order. The operation order is described in the context of a presentation to the commander of the Lithuanian brigade, who is present in the battlegroup’s tactical operations centre alongside his deputy chiefs of staff.
The companies receive their orders
Orders are then issued to the commanders of the mechanised infantry and service companies as well as to the reconnaissance and liaison platoon leader. Captain S. is the commander of the security cell charged with assessing the terrain and the intelligence situation: “What I find particularly interesting is multinational collaboration in the light of our different working methods. The resulting personal development will enable us to deliver even better results in future when it comes to intelligence and terrain assessment.”
Into the terrain
Now the operational plan generated on the map is taken out into the terrain. Armed with maps and compasses, the soldiers examine the battle position. They look at boundaries for the units and neighbouring units as well as outpost lines where the first hostilities are to take place. The commander tells them, “Please go into details,” and urges them to know exactly where they are in the terrain and always consider several of the options open to the enemy.
At the end of the exercise, the commander of the battlegroup, Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Huber, orders briefings on the reconnaissance outcomes. The tactical terrain conference is held in the companies’ intended battle positions. The aim is to enhance tactical competence at all levels of command. The end of this tactical exercise and training programme represents another important step on the way towards making the battlegroup fully operational.
This is the translation of an article by Heiner Bumüller published on www.bundeswehr.de
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