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EUMS Crisis Management Military Exercise 22-EXERCISE HARD, OPERATE EASY

The EU is facing new challenges, unpredictable threats and greater uncertainty. The complex and contested security environment in which the EU finds itself necessitates an unprecedented level of coordination and cooperation, not only within the EU institutes but also between Member States. This coordination and cooperation is reinforced through the evolution of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) structures such as the European Peace Facility, EU's Rapid Deployment Capacity and of course, the Strategic Compass.

MILEX LOGE

These initiatives have the potential to make the EU more reactive as a global security provider, however, in order to maximise their impact, the EU must exercise is personnel to test and validate its concepts, procedures, systems and tactics. Broadly speaking, they prepare the military and civilian instruments of the EU’s Integrated Approach to harmonise their work practices and align to the EU’s CSDP objectives. This ensures that when the EU deploys personnel, military or civilian, to demanding crisis management situations, that they have a common understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. This appreciation of how each element of the EU’s CSDP toolbox integrate so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the following article, CDR Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Benito expands upon the importance of Exercises, with a focus on MILEX 22.

The EU is facing new challenges, unpredictable threats and greater uncertainty. The complex and contested security environment in which the EU finds itself necessitates an unprecedented level of coordination and cooperation, not only within the EU institutes but also between Member States. This coordination and cooperation is reinforced through the evolution of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) structures such as the European Peace Facility, EU's Rapid Deployment Capacity and of course, the Strategic Compass. These initiatives have the potential to make the EU more reactive as a global security provider, however, in order to maximise their impact, the EU must exercise is personnel to test and validate its concepts, procedures, systems and tactics. Broadly speaking, they prepare the military and civilian instruments of the EU’s Integrated Approach to harmonise their work practices and align to the EU’s CSDP objectives. This ensures that when the EU deploys personnel, military or civilian, to demanding crisis management situations, that they have a common understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. This appreciation of how each element of the EU’s CSDP toolbox integrate so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the following article, CDR Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Benito expands upon the importance of Exercises, with a focus on MILEX 22.

The EU is addressing its current and future security and defence needs by enhancing its strategic autonomy and its capability to act as a credible global security provider. This ongoing process continuously seeks to develop its structures and its operating procedures. However, without a common understanding of the threats faced and perhaps more importantly how, the EU and its Member States cooperate in dealing with these threats, the result will be sub-optimal. The EU facilitates and reinforces this cooperation through the evolution of its CSDP structures and the development of its people.

In 2022 the EU Military Staff will take part in two major planning exercises designed to enhance the EU’s ability to coordinate and respond to external conflicts and crises, with a focus on the CSDP planning processes and operational conduct. They are the Crisis Management Military Exercise 22 (MILEX 22) and EU Exercise Integrated Resolve (EU IR 22).

MILEX 22 focuses on the interaction among the EU Military Staff (EUMS), the MPCC and an EU Force Headquarters, based in “Division Castillejos” in Huesca Spain, to plan an autonomous CSDP Military Operation.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT MILITARY EXERCISE (MILEX 22)

Scheduled for 10 May to 17 June 2022

MILEX 22 (Crisis Management Military Exercise) aims to further enhance the EU decision-making military capacity to respond, within the EU Integrated Approach, to external conflicts and crises with a focus on CSDP planning processes in a hybrid threat environment. This is an opportunity to not only test and evaluate the EU’s structures and operating procedures, but also to exercise and evaluate the human interface that drive them.

The motivation to conduct exercises such as this underline the importance placed on Europe's ability to foster peace and safeguard security within and beyond its borders at the appropriate level of ambition, as set by the EU Global Strategy and prescribed by in Strategic Compass.

To that end, and in particular in response to external conflicts and crises, EU and Member States are to enhance the activation, deployability and interoperability of their Headquarters and forces. This process requires continuous training and thorough exercises.

The form of MILEX 22 is a Command Post Exercise that involves the EU Institutions and bodies, as well as Member States. It practices CSDP military operations decision-making, planning, coordination and co-operation in a realistic manner. It exclusively exercises personnel in EU Headquarters in this planning process at the Political/Military strategic level. Its output will form the Initiating Military Directive and Military Strategic Options that form the basis of a concept of operation used by the military.

For MILEX 22, the Military Planning and Conduct Capability, located in Brussels will provide the EU Exercise Operation Commander and the EU Operational Headquarters. (OHQ). It will be reinforced with augmentees and capabilities from the EU Member States.  

The EU Exercise Force Commander and the EU Force HQ will be provided by Spain and located in the “Division Castillejos” in Huesca.

The exercise will be conducted in two parts. The aim of the first part is to conduct a parallel planning process between the MPCC EU OHQ, at the military strategic level, and the ES EU FHQ at the military operational level. The main effort will be focus in the production of a CONOPS/OPLAN by the MPCC EU OHQ at the military strategic level, and a CONOPS/OPLAN by the ES EU FHQ at the Operational Level.

The second part of the Exercise will simulate that the ES EU FHQ has deployed forces in the crisis area. The main effort will focus on the interaction between the MPCC EU OHQ and the ES EU FHQ based on the effect of the injections to the planned operation.

This exercise will be the culmination of months of detailed planning and preparation to produce exercise specifications approved by the Council and instructions approved by the EUMC.

This Exercise will allow the EU to evaluate its response procedures and mechanisms, such as the EEAS Crisis Response Mechanism and the Joint EU Consular Crisis Preparedness Framework, to address a complex crisis with an external dimension. Exercises promote cohesion and unity of effort and identify areas for improvement.

In this regard, the EU will be better prepared to respond to external threats to EU security and to ensure the security of its citizens.