Important NATO headquarters trained defense of the Baltics
Exercise Knight Lavard 22 was another important step towards Headquarters Multinational Division North taking up its role as a key NATO headquarters in Northeastern Europe.
Back brief during the exercise. Photos: Public Affairs Officer Søren / Multinational Division North
More than 260 members of staff from the NATO Headquarters Multinational Division North (MND N), supported by the headquarters Command Support Battalion, and staff from other NATO and national headquarters, in total almost 600 troops from regional NATO countries, were active as the MND N launched exercise Knight Lavard 2022 in Adazi Military base near Riga, Latvia in April.
Danish soldiers in the Latvian terrain.
The important exercise trained the operational tasks, coordination and logistic procedures of NATO’s most north-eastern division-level command.
“Exercise Knight Lavard 22 has been an excellent opportunity to train our many tasks and refine our processes and procedures,” says Major General Flemming Mathiasen who commands the MND N.
Major General Flemming Mathiasen (with beret and glasses) during the exercise.
MND N is organized and manned to be able to scale up and undertake a wide range of NATO tasks in the Baltic area. From peacetime coordination and training to full scale warfighting. This means that the headquarters has a basic staff located in Latvia and Denmark during peacetime but can be boosted to more than double that size on very short notice if NATO is threatened or attacked in the region.
Exercise Knight Lavard 2022 trained headquarters staff in a number of scenarios at divisional level including a full scale military attack on NATO countries in the Baltic area. A situation where Headquarters Multinational Division North will play a major role in organizing and executing NATO military operations.
Latvian soldiers during the exercise.
The exercise took MND N staff through a detailed scenario where NATO forces move in to defend the member states Latvia and Estonia and expel an aggressor from NATO territory. Extensive knowledge of the terrain, the local forces and potential axis of attack on NATO were studied in detail and attacking forces repulsed from NATO territory and punished severely in the process.
“I was especially pleased to see how quickly and efficiently headquarters staff cooperated with other NATO units during the exercise to act as one. The ability to take command of and integrate other units and perform a variety of tasks is the key to our role as multinational tactical headquarters,” Major General Flemming Mathiasen said as the exercise ended after a week of intense training.
Exercise Knight Lavard 22 was that first of a number of major exercises and activities in an important year for the MND N. Later this spring the headquarters will deploy to Estonia in order to conduct exercise Knight Legion22 and during the autumn several other exercises will refine the headquarters staff before MND N is ready to take the last step to be fully operational.
The tasks of Headquarters Multinational Division North will continue to range from facilitating training and exercises in the region over coordination and all the way to full scale combat if the Baltic countries are threatened or attacked.