Colonel Joe DEWEZ
Initial Press Conference Remarks
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of Major General Holmes, Commander AMF(L), it is a pleasure for me to state that AMF(L) is indeed fortunate to be able to conduct this important exercise in Turkey. AMF(L) has participated in exercises in Turkey many times in the past, the last of which was in 1997, and we look forward to building on the good relations established through this exercise and those which we have planned for future years.
AMF(L)’S origins date back some 41 years when it was formed by SACEUR with four original contributing nations as a multinational force designed to deploy rapidly to the flanks of allied command Europe in order to demonstrate the alliance’s solidarity and resolve to deter aggression. Since that time the force has expanded and now embraces 17 of the member nations of NATO that contribute up to 22,000 soldiers in combat units and supporting elements to a force which can deploy up to a division sized formation. AMF(L) is unique as a multinational formation, integrating different nationalities at the lowest level, operating to a common set of procedures and supported by a shared logistics system.
As the Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s immediate land reaction force AMF(L) is poised to deploy rapidly anywhere within or outside Allied Command Europe and is prepared to conduct activities across the full spectrum of operations from peace support operations to warfighting.
This exercise is part of our annual training programme designed to demonstrate our high levels of readiness and interoperability and it offers an excellent opportunity for the force to train together in demanding conditions. As important is our ability to deploy a force of significant size from several nations to perform as a cohesive whole in anticipation of a real contingency deployment.
The scenario for this exercise is entirely fictitious and will see an opposing forces known as Yellowlandia which covers the area of the Black Sea pose a threat against Turkey. In a demonstration of NATO solidarity under the conditions of Article V of the Washington Treaty AMF(L) has been deployed to the area to deter aggression and defend territory if necessary.
Initially units will conduct training by themselves and with each other to improve co-operation and understanding and as a deterrent to the opposing force. Subsequently there will be a phase of force on force combat operations against the opposing force, which for this exercise is provided by Turkey.
The exercise will be part field training, in which complete units deploy, and part command post training, in which only the command posts are deployed and forces are simulated. The field training forces will consist of infantry soldiers from Belgium, Germany and Italy, armoured reconnaissance troops from the UK, a tank company from Turkey, artillerymen from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Turkey, engineers from Turkey and the U.S. and helicopters from Belgium, Germany and the U.S. These forces will be supported by logistics elements from all participating nations while the command post training will consist of infantry units from Hungary, Poland and Norway, and a reconnaissance unit from Luxembourg. Rounding out all of this will be supporting aircraft from the Turkish Air Force.
It is our intent that all members of this great team that has been brought together gain significantly from this training event. As you can see this is true multinationality at work. An exercise of the magnitude of Adventure Exchange 2001 does not take place without a great deal of planning, hard work, co-operation and goodwill.
This exercise has been in the planning cycle for a long time and the result has been achieved by a co-operative team effort on the parts of the staffs of Joint Command Southeast, the Turkish General Staff, the Turkish Fifth Corps and AMF(L), particularly the AMF(L) contributing nations that are participating. There has also been a great deal of co-operation with the local authorities as the goodwill of the local people will also be important to the success of the exercise. On behalf of our commander and all members of AMF(L) I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the planning of the exercise for their efforts in making this critically essential training possible for us.
My commander and I are confident that this exercise is a visible sign of the strength of the alliance and that it will clearly demonstrate that the AMF(L) is capable, and ready to play any role that may be asked of us particularly in light of the present international situation.