On Friday 12 May NATO exercise NOBLE JUMP 2023 reached its pivotal point on Sardinia with a Joint Allied Powers Demonstration Day (JAPDD), reports Bob Morrison.
Over the last two weeks some 2,200 soldiers from seven NATO Nations (Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway) with approximately 500 vehicles have been deployed to training areas across the Italian island of Sardinia, where they conducted different kinds of military training both in national formations and on joint operations in conjunction with their NATO allies. The troops were training as part of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) which is the spearhead of the NATO Response Force (NRF) ~ the VJTF Land component this year is led by Germany’s 37 Panzergrenadier Brigade from Frankenberg in Saxony, Germany.
German Army Brigadier General Alexander Krone, Commander VJTF (Land), led the JAPDD and host nation Italy was represented by Italian Air Force Lieutenant General Nicola Lanza De Cristoforis, Deputy Commander Italian Joint Operations Headquarters. US Navy Admiral Stuart B. Munsch, Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, was the highest ranking NATO representative in attendance.
The aim of Exercise NOBLE JUMP 2023 was “to demonstrate the capabilities and integration of NATO forces from across the Alliance”. The exercise directly contributes to NATO´s deterrence and defence posture and improves the interoperability, readiness and cohesion of Allied forces. By deploying to Sardinia, the VJTF have demonstrated they can deploy NATO forces in the event of crisis.
At the climax of the deployment exercise, on the Italian Armed Forces Teulada Training Area in the south of the island, the training activities were combined in a complex military scenario with a live-fire dynamic demonstration (the JAPDD) to showcase the different abilities NATO can field to jointly defend against a land attack. Infantry from most of the participating nations plus Czech Paratroopers and small Special Forces contingents took part in this final display of defensive cooperation.
Heavy military equipment used included Leopard 2 A7V and 2 A4NO Main Battle Tanks from Germany and Norway respectively, CV 9030 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (plus Combat Engineer Vehicle and Combat Mortar Vehicle variants) from Norway, Boxer GNGP 6×6 armoured vehicles from the Netherlands and a German PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer battery. These wheeled and tracked vehicles, along with other assets, were supported by Tiger Attack Helicopters from Germany as well as both German LUNA and Luxembourgian X-300 INTEGRATOR surveillance drones. As part of the final scenario, German NH90 Helicopters evacuated wounded soldiers (notional) from the battlefield.
To be continued…..
[images © Bob Morrison]