Similar to the previous years, Exercise Common Trail 2015 was held in Germany in the first two weeks of December. The exercise was organised and executed by the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr (FüAkBw) in Hamburg, where 150 senior staff officers, represented 15 different nations and were the training audience for two Corps level joint staff elements. The main target of this NATO Crisis Response Exercise was to integrate and evaluate those senior staff officers whom had completed the one year module of their military service education.
Members of the Hungarian General Staff Training Course (Class-25) participated in the exercise as Corps level staff officers, using the present Comprehensive Operational Planning Directives (COPD) in their given tasks. Parallel to the members of the Host Nation Armed Forces, multinational Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels and Majors from Poland (NDU), France (Ecole De Guerre), USA (Forth Leavenworth), Italy (ISSMI) and from Belgium (RMA) executed common work throughout the two weeks session. Ensuring the success of the exercise, the FüAkBw invited and implemented senior mentors with previous experience from equal national and NATO level organisations. Lead by LTG/OF-8 VAN LOON, Ton (NDL ARMY), LTG/OF-8 PLOEGER, Freidrich W. (GER AF), VADM/OF-8 WITTHAUER, Hans J. (GER NAVY) all of the mentors provided superb support to the exercise reaching all of the goals set and enhanced the training’s excellent results.
It shall be considered interesting, that the host institution strongly relies on those recently retired subject matter experts. The well structured scenario – that included all of the experiences from the recent operational deployments – required comprehensive approach, the vital involvement of different civilian actors, proper planning, Information Operations (IO) supported, effect based military operations, kinetic and non-kinetic targeting tasks. These were included into both this and the last exercises (Common Effort) due to the experiences of the recent Libyan air operations.
Working in dominant positions, the members of the Hungarian Team participated in a well-organized, perfectly executed, multinational exercise in a great environment, hence will be able to connect all the experiences gathered to its Hungarian twin: The Sunny Africa 2016.