Nov 18 2020
NATO's Top Operational Commander visits new WarFighting Corps at Readiness
FAIRFORD, Gloucestershire - NATO's top 4-star operational commander, General Tod D. Wolters has visited exercise Loyal Leda 2020 in the U.K. Hosting the visitors, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps' Commander, Lieutenant General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne provided key information about the warfighting exercise, which will certify the headquarters as NATO's warfighting Corps at readiness.
NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Tod D. Wolters said, "This particular certification is significant because it is the first time a three-star level headquarters has been held at this level of readiness for an extended period since the end of the Cold War. Despite the challenges from COVID, ARRC and LANDCOM were still able to accomplish this crucial task. Today represents another instance of the Alliance not letting the pandemic become a security issue… our critical work will be done for defence and deterrence of the Alliance."
With over 22 stars in attendance, visitors included Allied Command Operation's (ACO) Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Tim Radford, Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum General Jörg Vollmer and the U.K.'s Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter.
The U.K. element of this exercise, with over 1,000 personnel dispersed across a number of sites in Gloucestershire, will certify the headquarters to NATO standards to ensure they can integrate and command multinational Divisions and up to 120,000 troops across multiple domains, including cyber and Space.
These essential visits ensure valuable lessons gleaned from the exercise are promulgated to the ARRC's sister High Readiness Force headquarters across Europe. The ARRC will maintain high readiness until January 2022, when it will hand over the role and the War Fighting Corps 'guidon' to NATO's Rapid Deployable Corps in Spain (NRDC-ESP) under NATO's Long-Term Commitment Plan.