NATO’s exercise Brilliant Jump II 2020, designed to increase and demonstrate the readiness and mobility of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), kicked off on 28th September in Northern Europe, NATO Maritime Command announced.
In January this year units comprised of the NATO Response Force (NRF) 2020 were activated at very short notice to test and improve their agility and now it’s time to ensure that agility has been sustained. Brilliant Jump II 2020 is designed in two parts: a primarily maritime phase from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, followed by a deployment phase over land from Oct. 28 to Nov. 6.
During Brilliant Jump II 2020, NATO’s Allied Air Command, the NATO Command Structure Joint Force Air Component Headquarters (JFAC), will monitor the Crisis Response Measures related to the activation of the VTJF. NATO’s Allied Air Command works closely with the JFAC for the NRF 2020. The United Kingdom JFAC, based at High Wycombe, will have experts monitor Brilliant Jump II 2020 activities and conduct their readiness training before the United Kingdom exercise Joint Warrior 20-2.
The Theatre Air Component is responsible for coordinating all air movements of the Allies during the deployment of the VJTF. One major aspect of the exercise is to train the processes and coordination with participants from the other services to ensure smooth multi-domain operations.
NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, Spanish Maritime Force (SPMARFOR) and Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, comprised of NRP Corte-Real, HMCS Toronto and BNS Leopold I, will participate in phase one. This group, together with other Standing Naval Forces, make up the maritime element of the VJTF.
Currently SPMARFOR represents the NRF maritime element for 2020. SPMARFOR HQ were trained and evaluated by NATO’s Allied Maritime Command in late 2019 in order to be assigned as the Maritime Command of the NRF and will be on stand-by until the end of 2020.
In phase 2 NATO will deploy land elements of the VJTF to Lithuania in order to exercise the Reception, Staging and Onward Movement of VJTF units, led by Multinational Corps North-East.
On Sept. 27 troops and equipment deployed from the Czech Republic, Poland and Spain via road, rail, air and sea to Lithuania, primarily bound for the Pabrade and Kazlu Training areas. Upon completion, VJTF units will participate in the Lithuanian-led exercise Iron Wolf.
Participating land units will encompass a Mechanised Battalion from the Czech Republic, a Brigade HQ, Spearhead Battalion, Special Forces and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Task Force HQ (all provided by Poland) as well as an Infantry Battalion from Spain.
The main objective of the exercise is to maintain the readiness of VJTF forces such that they can quickly deploy and, simultaneously, practice/enhance logistic interoperability with allies and partners.
The enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania, which is part of the Lithuanian Iron Wolf Brigade, is also participating.