Kick-off of the EU Crisis Management Military Exercise 2024 - MILEX 24

Milex 24 - the European Union's military exercise to improve crisis management and operational deployment capacity, kicked off today in Brussels.

Maj Gen Albl COSMPCC (left) and Lt Gen van der Laan DGEUMS (right) at this morning’s MILEX 24 Initiating Military Directive presentation.

Today, 11 April 2024, the Director General European Union Military Staff (DGEUMS) Lieutenant General Michiel van der Laan officially launched the Crisis Management Military Exercise 24 (MILEX 24) at the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) Operations Headquarters (OHQ) in Brussels.

After the successful execution of the first EU Live Exercise (LIVEX) in October 2023, MILEX 24 represents the second step in the incremental operationalisation of the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity (EU RDC) and the further development of the MPCC. MILEX 24 officially commenced on 8 April and will continue until 3 May 2024. During this period, planners from strategic and operational level headquarters in Brussels and Strasbourg will be involved in parallel planning for a deployment of the EU Rapid Reaction Force in a scenario outside its borders.


The Strategic Compass for Security and Defence outlines that by 2025, an EU RDC allowing for a swift deployment of a modular force of up to 5000 troops in a non-permissive environment, will be fully operational. Delivering on the Strategic Compass, regular live EU military exercises with the progressive involvement of the MPCC, enhance the EU’s capacity to act to external conflicts and crisis.

MILEX 24 Crisis Management Exercise

MILEX 24 is the culmination of many months of detailed planning and preparation which entail the use of military forces and capabilities of Member States. This exercise is only possible because of the continuous support and contributions of EU Member States.

Over the next four weeks, the focus will be on the Crisis Response Planning at the military strategic and operational levels. For this exercise, the OHQ, which is at the military strategic level, will be provided by the MPCC in Brussels, while EUROCORPS located in Strasbourg, will provide the Force Headquarters (FHQ), at the operational level.

Connected to MILEX 24, is an EU RDC LIVEX, which will be conducted in Bergen, Germany, between 26 November and 10 December 2024. The EU RDC LIVEX will focus on the execution of the Operations Plan (OPLAN) developed during this Crisis Response Planning phase.

The German-led Exercise EUROPEAN CHALLENGE 2024 will provide the platform for the conduct of the EU RDC LIVEX. This live exercise will train EU Battlegroup Force Package 25, as the Rapid Response Force tailored to a Military Rapid Response Operation or Mission, for a predefined scenario.

Senior military officers in planning conference at Milex HQ

Lt Gen van der Lann DGEUMS addressing the staff of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) at this morning's MILEX 24 Initiating Military Directive.

Strengthening the Rapid Deployment Capacity

MILEX 24 will strengthen the EU RDC by testing our readiness and capacity to respond quickly and decisively to external conflicts. Exercises promote cohesion and unity of effort and identify areas for improvement and in this regard, the EU will be better prepared to respond to external threats to EU security and therefore the protection of EU citizens, EU values and EU interests.

Speaking at this morning’s presentation of the Initiating Military Directive, Lt Gen Michiel van der Laan stated, “The Strategic Compass has helped steer the EU towards a structured training cycle, thereby enhancing our decision making capacity to respond to external conflicts and crisis. Exercises are a crucial element in how we prepare for what may lie ahead. MILEX 24 is a big step in our training cycle and as we move towards a fully operational MPCC and EU RDC, we must continue to ensure our procedures and processes are tested, refined and tested again. This ensures we improve our operational processes, and by doing so, we improve our capacity to rapidly support the security and defence of EU citizens and interests”.