Exercise Steadfast Cobalt set to get underway in Lithuania
Major General Walter Huhn, alongside the Lithuanian Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza, take part in opening ceremonies for Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 17 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 in Kaunas, Lithuania. - Photo courtesy of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence
KAUNAS, Lithuania – Commander NATO CIS Group (NCISG), Major General Walter Huhn, alongside the Lithuanian Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza, took part in opening ceremonies for Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 17 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 in Kaunas.
Exercise Steadfast Cobalt has been NCISG's main command and control exercise that is designed to primarily test and evaluate communication systems in support of the enhanced NATO Response Force (eNRF). This year some 25 nations from over 35 NATO Force Structure units will participate in what will be the most demanding exercise yet.
''The preparation for this exercise from my personnel has been immense. Our role in enabling the eNRF to function remains vital to our defensive operations'', said Major General Huhn. ''Having the Vice Minister here supporting our launch of the exercise only reinforces the importance of NCISG's role in defence and deterrence, and I am extremely grateful to our Lithuanian allies in providing the host nation support,'' he added.
Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 17 provides a testing environment for assessing deployable communication systems with a focus on interoperability and standardisation. NATO Signal Battalions, national communication providers and other communication agencies all participate in a series of tests and evaluations in order to achieve certification for the following year. This year the participation from 1 German Netherlands Corps, the Lithuanian NATO Force Integration Unit and the presence of the German led eFP Battle Group have all added a new dimension.
''With over 1200 military and civilian participating, the tempo of the exercise will be very high and my exercise team will ensure it is maintained. With the start of this exercise on the 22nd May we will of course receive great training value, but also ultimately achieve our operational aims successfully on completion,'' said Major General Huhn.
Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 17 is the biggest NCISG exercise to date and will be supported by 13 other national elements and 17 multi-national headquarters.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office