Story by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class (OR-7) Michael O’Brien
ZAGAN, Poland –Noble Jump, one of a cluster of NATO’s exercises led by both the organization’s command structure and member nations during the spring of 2019, concluded with a live capability demonstration called Joint Allied Power Demonstration Day June 12 here in the Presidential Hill Range 12 of the military training area.
The most visible phase of NATO’s exercise took place with the deployment of nearly 2,500 German, Dutch, and Norwegian troops and some 1,000 vehicles to the southern west region of Poland.
"We are very glad as a Polish Ministry of National Defense having NRF Forces Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) here in Poland,” said Mister Stefan Kudlicki, Poland’s Chief Political Cabinet Minister of Defense. " We are practicing fast deployment and military operations.”
These exercises demonstrate the ability of the Alliance and the Alliance’s resolve to peace and stability.
"Poland is an important and reliable ally,” said JFC Naples Deputy Commander Canadian Lieutenant General Christian Juneau. "NATO has one goal, to keep our nations safe and secure, providing peace and security, but to do this, we have to remain vigilant and that’s why we have an organization and this called the NATO Response Force. The Spearhead of that organization is the Very High Readiness Joint task Force, the organization that has trained here in Zagan, within the last couple of weeks.”
Joint training and exercises are crucial to NATO.
"One of the core elements of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is its strategic mobility, the capability of NATO to deploy forces within our territories and we can cross a border of a partner without being hampered,” said German Brigadier General (OF-6) Ullrich Spannuth, the Commander of the Land Brigade of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. "It is all about co-ordination, which is at the heart of our Alliance and that has to be tested.”
NATO forces exercising together display its ability to integrate and conduct complex military activities together.
"It is very nice to see that the Alliance is competing today a real situation here in Zagan military area,” said Kudlicki. "Soldiers came from thousands km by road, by air by rail, by the sea also from Norway, and they practiced here together 2500 troops, 1000 vehicles doing a good job here in Poland.”
NATO forces routinely train together and align to support each other in both logistics and manouvre on the battlefield.
"NATO is ready, capable and military sound organization who can answer the call if there is a crisis that is occurring,” said Juneau. "The most important part in my mind of an exercise like this one is that it is a real life exercise where you actually deploy troops coming from Norway, Nederland, Germany over air sea land, and that creates a challenge in itself. It is easy to do it on a computer or a map, moving stickers around.”
Noble Jump displayed NATO’s ability to deploy the land component of the NATO Response Force, specifically the VJTF and was an exercise that tested the rapid deployment capability of the VJTF.
The VJTF is a technologically advanced, multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces components, that are rapidly deployable.
The first phase of the exercise began on May 24, when NATO alerted its VJTF.
Within 48 hours, the VJTF’s "Spearhead” battalion was ready to deploy and three days later, the complete VJTF brigade was on standby.
As part of the VTJF, a Spearhead Battalion is comprised of a German, a Dutch and a Norwegian company under German command, which completed final preparations and received the order to deploy.
"I am proud of what have been accomplished and extremely proud of the soldiers who worked so hard to prepare and deliver this exercise,” said Juneau. "One of the key aspect of the exercise has been accomplished successfully is the deployment. The second piece is to be able to work together.”