Unified Endeavor 14-01 trains U.S./multinational Soldiers for ISAF deployment

Oct. 16, 2013

By Joint Multinational Training Command Public Affairs


Lt. General Frederick Hodges, commanding general for Allied Land Command, the new NATO headquarters located in Izmir, Turkey, listens as he  and one of his multinational colleagues makes his way to the next meeting during exercise Unified Endeavor at JMTCs Camp Aachen in the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Oct 15. Unified Endeavor is a multi-tiered command post mission rehearsal exercise, primarily hosted by U.S. Army Europe's Joint Multinational Training Command to train the next headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Michael Beaton)

Lt. General Frederick Hodges, commanding general for Allied Land Command, the new NATO headquarters located in Izmir, Turkey, listens as he and one of his multinational colleagues makes his way to the next meeting during exercise Unified Endeavor at JMTCs Camp Aachen in the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Oct 15. Unified Endeavor is a multi-tiered command post mission rehearsal exercise, primarily hosted by U.S. Army Europe's Joint Multinational Training Command to train the next headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Michael Beaton)

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany  – The 7th  Army Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC) Simulation Center at Camp Aachen, in Grafenwoehr, Germany recently hosted more than 1,700 U.S. and multinational Soldiers during the United States Army Europe semi-annual exercise Unified Endeavor, which will conclude Oct. 18.

Exercise participants included Soldiers of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps based in Istanbul Turkey, the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, NY, the 18th Airborne Corps and the 44th Medical Brigade based in Fort Bragg, N.C. The participants are supported during the exercise by Soldiers and civilian training professionals from JMTC’s Joint Multinational Simulation Center.

Trainers say the objective of the exercise is to train, rehearse, and contribute to the overall preparation of the primary headquarters for units that will be assigned as, or attached to International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

The 3 phases of the exercise consist of academic training (how to develop a plan), development of the operations plan, and execution of the operations order. Each phase trains the Joint Task Force Component Commanders and their staffs to at the operational level.

“Unified Endeavor is a critical exercise and has been since the inception of ISAF – today among the NATO partners, you have a common background and framework and a commonality of shared interests that have been forged by deploying together, serving together and training together in exercises like Unified Endeavor," said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges, commanding general for Allied Land Command, the new NATO headquarters located in Izmir, Turkey.

“Unified Endeavor is not simply about shared procedures, it’s about shared understanding among the many different forces that we partner with,” said Hodges.

Unified Endeavor is especially important to commands like Hodges’, which is responsible for standardizing and assessing all NATO land forces and ensuring interoperability within the NATO multinational command structure.

“This is such a fantastic place and as far as training there’s no other place quite like it. Nobody can touch the capacity of JMTC in Europe.” said Hodges.

“What I am thinking about now, after more than a decade of deploying and training together is how we can retain the interoperability and smooth cooperation that comes from exercises like this, after ISAF,” said Hodges. “At NATO we are always looking at that future at making training affordable, and Grafenwoehr is part of that.”

Unified Endeavor culminates with a computer-simulated exercise designed to sharpen military commanders' joint and multinational war-fighting skills.

Exercise planners say the simulation center is ideal for exercises such as Unified Endeavor due to its capabilities, size and central location in Europe amongst U.S. allies.  JMTC Soldiers and civilians at the simulation center regularly train with multinational allies and partner nations.

Computer war gaming has been used successfully since the early 1980's by the U.S. Army and provided cost-savings towards the training of not only joint staffs but also the preparation of U.S. and multinational Soldiers for combat missions.

JMTC trainers say regular training with models and simulations is just one of many tools available on the U.S. Army’s Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas.  Used in conjunction with the live-fire ranges, maneuver areas, simulation and training resources, it will help prepare U.S. and partner-nation forces to prevent conflicts, shape strong international partnerships, and, if necessary, win decisively on any battlefield.

View photos from Unified Response on Flickr.


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