On October 23, the European Command of the US Armed Forces completed an exercise that tested the ability of the headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, to mobilize NATO allies in the event of war, according to Stars and Stripes.
The Austere Challenge 2021 command post exercise, which took place from October 19 to 23, was attended by about 4,400 troops from the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance forces. Major General John Boyd, head of the command training and assessment department, said that the main task was to simulate the reaction of the allies in the event of a military conflict. “We worked on a whole range of problems,” he added. Boyd noted that the pandemic left a certain mark on the maneuvers, but in his opinion, the new conditions added to the realism of the exercises, forcing the military to maintain a distance.
The details of the exercises were not disclosed, however, the European Command indicated that in the process they worked out interaction with land, sea, air, cyber and space resources of allies.
The Austere Challenge has been conducted since the 1990s, but since the end of the Cold War, the likelihood of conflict in Europe has diminished, and maneuvers have become less intense. However, in the past five years, United States European Command has revised its goals and objectives and began to expand the scope of the exercise.
On October 15, the Bild newspaper reported that the German Air Force and its NATO partners were conducting a covert exercise called “Enduring Afternoon” to practice maneuvers in the event of a nuclear war. According to the newspaper, Dutch, Belgian and Italian fighters were involved in the exercises.