BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Own report) – Today, NATO’s “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF), with its significant contingent of German troops, will launch a series of maneuvers to prepare for its role as “Spearhead” in the alliance’s future war operations. A first “performance test” will be conducted until Friday, followed by the two-part “Noble Jump” exercises. The training will focus on alerting the elite troops and on their rapid relocation within NATO territory, with the official objective being to prevent “terrorists” from advancing onto the territory of an allied country and provoking a “government crisis.” The culmination of this year’s maneuvers will be the “Trident Juncture” exercise in September. Twenty-five thousand soldiers are expected to participate, training for a war of intervention in a fictitious country at the Horn of Africa. The western troops will not only be confronting a guerilla army but will also encounter chemical warfare, food insecurity, and have to channel population displacements. According to NATO, “lessons” have been learned from the military operations in Afghanistan and the “contemporary conflicts” such as in Ukraine.
According to German specialized media, NATO’s “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF) is preparing for its role as “Spearhead” in future combat operations. About half of the 5,000 – 7,000 VJTF soldiers are German. The VJTF will have its first “performance test” beginning today, Tuesday, ending this Friday. Various NATO command staffs will participate in the so-called “Alert Exercise” including the I. German/Netherlands Corps, headquartered in Muenster (Westphalia). In May, the VJTF will be training in rapid relocation within the NATO area on the military training grounds in Munster (Lower-Saxony). According to the media, the objective of this elite unit, whose German core is comprised of the Mechanized Infantry Battalion 371 stationed in Marienberg (Saxony), is to “strengthen the deterrence of Russia.”
Russia in the Crosshairs
The exercises in question take their orientation from the “Skolkan” scenario developed by NATO in 2013, and made public at the end of last year by Col. Gen. Hans-Lothar Domröse, the German NATO general primarily in command of the VJTF’s development. Media reports describe the scenario: “Following Estonian Hiiumaa Island’s invasion from the north, by the fictitious nation of ‘Bothnia,’ the enemy invaders had to be repelled.” The mission was carried out “in a civilian and an information environment,” which “was considerably determined by social networks,” the reports explain. “Particularly, with the emergence of disputes between those in favor and those opposed to the NATO operation, … the analysis of communication played a significant role in decision making.” As the media observers at the time concluded, even though comprehending the “Skolkan” scenario calls for a modicum of “abstraction capability,” however, when, for example, the simulated invaders are armed with Scud – D surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, it becomes clear “that Bothnia stands for Russia.”
The “Trident Juncture” exercise is scheduled from September 28 to November 6, at several locations in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Involving more than 25,000 soldiers, it will be the largest maneuver “since the fall of the Berlin wall,” according to the US military. “For the NATO Alliance, this large-scale, highly visible exercise will be an ideal venue” to demonstrate its capabilities. Its “Spearhead” is mainly comprised of Bundeswehr soldiers.