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Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 22 ~ An Introduction

Latvian anti-tank teams, seen here deployed in the field during ALLIED SPIRIT at Hohenfels, are equipped with Polaris MRZR D4 lightweight tactical all-terrain vehicles [© Carl Schulze]

Between 15th January and 4th of February 2022 Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 22 took place at the Hohenfels Training Area in southern Germany, reports Carl Schulze.


Also designated ALLIED SPIRIT XIII, this training event was a US Army Europe and Africa (USAREURAF) directed, and 7th Army Training Command (7ATC) conducted, field exercise hosted by the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC). The exercise involved some 6,000 troops from 15 nations and was focused on high intensity warfighting under a NATO Article 5 scenario.

Latvian Artillery is equipped with the 155mm M109A5Ö self-propelled howitzer, purchased from Austria which in turn procured them in the 1990s from Great Britain [© Carl Schulze]

The ALLIED SPIRIT series of exercises was launched by the US Army in 2015, with ALLIED SPIRIT I taking place at the Hohenfels Training Area in January of that year. The series was designed to provide multinational interoperability training at brigade and battalion levels, in order to enhance the cooperation and integration of US Army units with that of NATO allies. Unlike the SABER JUNCTION and COMBINED RESOLVE exercise series, which both feature US brigade combat teams in a lead role, augmented by allies and partners, the ALLIED SPIRIT exercises place an allied unit in the position of the main training audience, to which US Army assets are assigned.

The Latvian 2. Mehanizētais Kājnieku Bataljons fields the CVR(T) family, including FV103 Spartan, FV104 Samaritan, FV105 Sultan, FV106 Samson and FV107 Scimitar as seen here [© Carl Schulze]

The Sauszemes Spēku Mehanizētā Kājnieku Brigāde (a mechanised infantry brigade) from Latvia, served as prime training audience of Exercise ALLIED SPIRIT 22 and commanded a multinational brigade-size mechanised force. During the exercise the brigade in turn was placed under the headquarters of the German 1. Panzerdivision (an armoured division) that served as higher command and control echelon.

The US Army 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment ‘Burt’s Knights’ of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) of the 1st Infantry Division ‘The Big Red One’ took part in the exercise with two tank companies equipped with M1A2 SEP (V2) Abrams main battle tanks [© Carl Schulze]

During the now completed multinational exercise in Bavaria the Latvian Mechanised Infantry Brigade was in command of the following forces:-

  • Latvian Headquarters and Signal Company
  • Spanish Military Police Platoon
  • Hungarian Military Police Platoon
  • Latvian 2nd Mechanised Infantry Battalion
  • German Panzer Grenadier Battalion 401
  • Polish Leopard 2A4 Tank Company
  • US M1 Abrams Tank Battalion
  • Italian C1 Ariete Tank Platoon
  • German Artillery Battalion 325
  • Latvian M109A5Ö Self-Propelled Howitzer Battery
  • US M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer Battery
  • German Reconnaissance Battalion 6
  • Portuguese UAV Section
  • CMOC (Civil-Military Operations Center)
  • Netherlands 102 Electronic Warfare Company
  • Latvian Engineer Company
  • Lithuanian Engineer Company
  • Netherlands 112 Armoured Engineer Company
  • US Armoured Engineer Company
  • 2x Latvian Air Defence Platoons
  • US Air Defence Artillery
  • Latvian-led Multinational Combat Service Support Battalion
  • Latvian-led Multinational Medical Battalion

To be continued…

[images © Carl Schulze]


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