Comments by  Maj. Gen Holmes


4 October 2002

            I am Major Gen Walter Holmes and it has been my pleasure to command the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land) for the past three years.

             The AMF(L) is a multi-national headquarters based in Heidelberg, Germany and until the end of this month we are designated as SACEUR’s Immediate Reaction Force Land.

             Formed in 1960 the AMF(L) has been at the forefront of multi-national operation within the Alliance for over four decades.  The force pool at the moment consists of approximately 22,000 soldiers from 17 NATO nations.

             Exercise Co-Operative Adventure Exchange will be AMF(L)’s last before our disbandment later this year, however, it is an important exercise due to its location here in the Ukraine and due to the inclusion of several partner nations.

             The exercise as you have heard is based on a Peace Support Operation scenario.  My main focus and that of my staff will be to mentor and teach and in this way achieve as much interoperability as possible in the short time we have available on the exercise.

             Needless to say we are delighted to be hosted by the Ukrainian military and to be given full use of their excellent training facility of Yavoriv.

             We have enjoyed nothing but the best co-operation as we have planned this exercise over the past year and we are very much looking forward to working with the Ukrainian military and the federal and local civil officials in the conduct of our activities over the next two weeks.

            Our activities will be for the most part confined to the training facility; however, the noise from our artillery live fire on the range, helicopter operations and some road movement will be evident to the local communities. We will keep the impact of our operations to the absolute minimum.  My staffs’ prior contact with the local authorities should preclude or if required resolve any problems created by our presence.

             My soldiers and I are looking forward to a productive and professionally rewarding exercise here in the Ukraine.  I am confident the benefits to the Alliance and Partner nations participating will be worth the investment we, and NATO have made in Exercise Co-operative Adventure Exchange.

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