While the majority of the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) and Civil Servants Course (CSC) have deployed to Sweden for Combined Joint Staff Exercise 2013, three JCGSC Officers and two Directing Staff members are taking part in Exercise Crystal Eagle 13 in Wildflecken, Germany. During Crystal Eagle, BALTDEFCOL supports Multi-National Corps - North East by filling demanding positions in exercise control (EXCON) and Higher Control (HICON) cells. This year, there are 21 countries' flags represented and more than 1300 participants involved.
Crystal Eagle is a computer assisted exercise (CAX) which officially takes place from 19th to 25th of April, with a preparation phase which this year began on the 12th of April. The overarching aim of CE13 is to provide training for the 1st Amored Division (ARMD DIV) in Germany (primary training audience) in Crises Response Operations. It also features population-centric counter insurgency operations (COIN) and high intensity war fighting aspects. Crystal Eagle serves as one of the main steps for the 1st Armored Division in Germany to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan as the nucleus of Regional Command-North's headquarters. The secondary training audience - 10th Polish Armored Cavalry Brigade, 4th Austrian Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Multi National Military Police Battalion, and Slovenian Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (CBRN) Battalion are taking part as well.
"This exercise is one of many cooperative events between BALTDEFCOL and Multinational Corp North East. It is a very good opportunity both for students and College’s Directing Staff members to improve their knowledge and staff skills by working in international Joint level HQ environment," said LTC Valts Abolinš, BALTDEFCOL Instructor NATO Land - CIMIC / PSO.
On 23 April, the Director of the Operations Department and Joint Course Director had the opportunity to participate in the Crystal Eagle Visitor's Day. Through a series of briefings, static displays, and discussions, both were familiarized with the physical layout of the exercise, scenario, and training objectives. Following the formal components of the visit, LTC Valts Abolinš set up a private meeting with BALTDEFCOL Officers. ’This exercise has been invaluable to our learning. Using real-world scenarios and data, we have been able to apply the planning concepts and analytical skills we have learned at the Baltic Defence College,’ said Major Saulius Petravičius. His coursemates, Majors Gatis Dēbelis and Margo Grosberg agreed that participation in future exercises with Multi-National Corps - North East should certainly be pursued.
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