††Maj. Gen. Craig D. HACKETT
Deputy Commander Joint Command Southeast
Initial Press Conference Remarks
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This morning I have the privilege of telling you about Exercise Adventure Exchange on behalf on General Ataman, the Commander of Joint Command Southeast, and the director of this exercise.† Before I go into my prepared remarks, I want to emphasize that Exercise Adventure Exchange has absolutely no relationship to or connection with the potential NATO response to terrorist acts.† This exercise was scheduled long before the events that took place on 11 September.
The purpose of Adventure Exchange is to train the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land), AMF (L) to rapidly deploy and perform combat operations in an Article V scenario.† (Article V, as you know, is that portion of the North Atlantic Treaty, which specifies that an attack against one or more parties shall be considered an attack against them all.† And that if such an attack occurs, each party will assist by taking such actions, as it deems necessary).† This training is very important to AMF (L).† Major General Holmes will discuss AMF(L)ís role in a few minutes.
But today, I want to highlight two different facets of Adventure Exchange.† The first is that this exercise is a great symbol of NATOís solidarity.†
Sixteen different nations are participating in some form. Twelve nations have provided tactical forces and have formed a multinational headquarters.† This solidarity is not to be taken lightly it is a source of strength and security.
The North Atlantic Treaty has united us behind a set of common ideals, specifically our commitment to peace and stability. Recent world events have shown us how important this solidarity is, and how good it is to have allies upon whom you can count.
††††††††††† Without each nationís commitment to peace and stability, exercises like Adventure Exchange would be impossible, for this exercise is founded on the cooperation, trust and teamwork of many individuals, units, and nations.
As the Deputy Commander of Joint Command Southeast, I want to personally thank Lieutenant General Sariisik and the Turkish Fifth Corps for their outstanding support.† I also appreciate the hard work of the staff officers at Joint Command Southeast.† And I must also thank the people of the Kirklareli region for their hospitality and generosity.† Such dedication and teamwork from all parties indicates that our solidarity is much more than an official position; it suggests a true unity among the officers, junior service members, and citizens who desire peace and stability.
††††††††††† Although such unity is a great attribute, we must also have the capability to act.† Which leads me to my second point [pause] that Adventure Exchange demonstrates our capability--our capability to deploy rapidly, our capability to respond to a crisis and act decisively.† Both the AMF (L) and Joint Command Southeast have this capability, but Adventure Exchange will refine our individual and collective skills.
††††††††††† We have designed a challenging training event for the AMF(L).† The training will test the headquarters ability to command and control multinational forces.
Approximately 5,000 troops will be on the ground, but the headquarters will control a much larger notional force through command post exercises.†
††††††††††† Having these skills is of vital importance, for our leaders and the citizens of our respective countries demand that we be ready in times of need.† Moreover, the enemies of peace and stability also need to know that NATO forces can respond quickly when called upon.
††††††††††† We have devoted a lot of time and effort to make this a great exercise.† Adventure Exchange will challenge the soldiers and airmen, as well as leaders and staff officers.† This exercise is a product of the hard work of many individuals and nations.†
We are confident that Adventure Exchange will be a total success and will demonstrate the unique capabilities and character of NATOís AMF(L).† This exercise is properly focused on the AMF(L); however, Adventure Exchange also serves the larger purpose of being a great symbol of NATOís solidarity, its resolve, and its capability.