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NATO JSEC Exercise STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023

STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023 at the Joint Support and Enabling Command in Ulm was played as a table top wargame using realistic plans and the NATO Alliance’s new Force Model [© NATO: Gina Seegert]

Exercise STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023 puts JSEC’s (Joint Support and Enabling Command’s) ability to advise NATO to a test.

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News Release, Ulm, 10 November 2023: From 6 to 10 November, the Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) conducted the Enablement exercise STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023 (STFX23) in the Wilhelmsburg Barracks in Ulm. The strategic and operational-level computer-assisted wargame which addressed current and emerging Enablement, Reinforcement by Forces and Sustainment training requirements based on realistic plans and data, was sponsored by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium and directed by the NATO Joint Warfare Center (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway. Over 180 exercise participants including representatives from SHAPE, the Joint Forces Commands (JFCs), the Joint Logistics Support Groups (JLSGs), troop contributing nations and the United States European Command (US EUCOM) trained the Alliance’s ability to project and sustain combat power through the coordination of NATO Forces and national deployments on the European continent, against hybrid actions of an adversary, with a focus on Enablement, Reinforcement by Forces and Sustainment.

During the exercise STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023 participants played several turns with five phases each ~ during the Coordination Phase players got to discuss among each other in preparation for their next turn
[© NATO: Gina Seegert]

“We are currently facing challenging times and are in the middle of setting conditions for successful deterrence and defence at NATO. This task is demanding but of highest value and relevance. Therefore I happily welcome our NATO community with over 20 nations joining us here at JSEC for STEADFAST FOXTROT,” emphasised Commander JSEC, Lieutenant General Alexander Sollfrank, during his welcome speech addressing the training audience.

JSEC with its Reinforcement and Sustainment Network (RSN) and as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s (SACEUR) Enablement Advisor took over the key role on coordinating and synchronising Enablement, Reinforcement by Forces and Sustainment into, across and from SACEUR’s Area of Responsibility (AOR). This area spans from North America’s East Coast over to the Baltic States in Europe’s Northeast, from Poland and Romania in Eastern Europe to Türkiye and Greece in the South.

STFX23 aimed to develop and deconflict the deployment and sustainment plans while testing emerging concepts like the RSN. “During the past week we were able to exercise and validate the increasing readiness of JSEC’s RSN and integrate arising requirements from NATO’s New Force Model and the Family of Plans,” explains a member of the exercise’s planning team. This included the examination of opportunities for sharing and de-conflicting of reinforcement infrastructure, entailing shortfalls and requirements, but also personnel, materiel and functional capacities.

The wargame STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023 was designed by NATO’s Joint Warfare Center and is the first table top game focused on Joint Support and Enabling Command’s core tasks of Enablement, Reinforcement by Forces and Sustainment [© NATO: Gina Seegert]

With NATO entering a new era of global security, the Alliance has further increased its readiness and vigilance. NATO continues to strengthen its deterrence and defence posture in light of the changed and evolving security environment. To continue improving the readiness of its forces, the New Force Model further enhances the successful NATO Readiness Initiative and its culture of readiness. This includes a transformed and robust training and exercises programme, which reflects the nature and complexity of the threats to the Alliance.

The exercise’s outcome and findings will have a valuable impact on JSEC’s Reinforcement and Sustainment Network Fall Conference (14 to 16 November) where identified requirements and their real implications will be thoroughly discussed among the conference’s participants.

JSEC’s compilation of provided information by Allies and partners generates an overview used by NATO commanders and Allied Nations. The assessment gives advice and recommendation on how to organise movement so that the right troops are at the right place at the right time, as well as on their sustainment. This contributes to credible deterrence and, if necessary, an effective and efficient defence of every inch of Allied territory.

The wargame STEADFAST FOXTROT 2023 was designed by NATO’s Joint Warfare Center and is the first table top game focused on Joint Support and Enabling Command’s core tasks of Enablement, Reinforcement by Forces and Sustainment [© NATO: Gina Seegert]

Additional Information ~

  • RSN: AOR-wide strategic construct (established in peacetime) with 360-degrees perspective, linking the physical (infrastructure) and the functional (procedures) elements in order to enable SACEUR’s AOR by setting the conditions for a timely and efficient Reinforcement by Forces and Sustainment of Allied forces.
  • Wargame: Dynamic representation of conflict and competition in which people make decisions and respond to the consequences of those decisions. The goal is to immerse players in an environment with the required level of realism to permit the investigation of the human decision-making process.
  • NATO’s New Force Model: At the NATO Summit in Madrid 2022 leaders agreed a new NATO Force Model. It will deliver an Allied response at much greater scale and at higher readiness than the previous NATO Response Force which it replaced. It provides a larger pool of high readiness forces across domains, land, air, sea and cyber, which are pre-assigned to specific plans for the defence of the Alliance. The Model improves NATO’s ability to respond at very short notice for any contingency and enables Allies to make more forces available to NATO on an assured basis. When fully implemented, the NATO Force Model will provide well over 300,000 troops at high readiness.

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