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Ready to lead key NATO task force in 2017

01 December 2016

UK’s 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade ready for NATO role

20th Armoured Infantry Brigade is in the final stages of training before taking the lead in NATO’s 2017 Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Land) (VJTF(L)).

Members of 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade and NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corp (ARRC) conduct Exercise Noble Ledger in Germany. During Exercise NOBLE LEDGER 16 this week at Sennelager Training Area in Germany, 20 Armd Inf Bde completed its final validation tasks. The exercise is the final stepping stone in more than a year’s training to prepare the multinational brigade for the role.

Known as the Iron Fist, 20 Armd Inf Bde is the Vanguard Armoured Infantry Brigade of the Army’s 3rd Division based at Tidworth in Hampshire. The Division has deployed 100 staff into the field to evaluate the brigade's readiness to lead the full spectrum of operations.

Complex NATO operation

This exercise has focussed on the Task Force Headquarters and its ability to command and control a complex NATO operation.

Brigadier Mike Elviss leads the brigade and the 250 personnel from 14 NATO member nations that make up 20 Armd Inf Bde Headquarters.

“Exercise NOBLE LEDGER is a fantastic opportunity for the soldiers of the Task Force to prove our collective readiness,” he said.

“The exercise shows that the whole is greater than the sum of our parts. The VJTF(L) demonstrates that the NATO Alliance is stronger together. I have absolute faith in our ability to plan and execute any type of operation, against any type of adversary.”

World-class training

The VJTF(L) will act under the control of Headquarters the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) based at Gloucester in the UK. HQ ARRC will act as higher command to the Task Force, assuring the integration and validation of their readiness and capabilities ahead of the NATO Response Force mission, commencing on 1 January 2017.

"We have been superbly supported by HQ ARRC, who will also be held at readiness in 2017 as the NATO Response Force Land Component Command. They have delivered world-class training. We look forward to standing ready from 1 January,” said Brigadier Elviss.

20 Brigade will take over the VJTF(L) role from the Spanish Army and hold the role for a year until 2018.

Members of 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade and NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corp (ARRC) conduct Exercise Noble Ledger in Germany.

Pictured above and inset: Members of 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade and NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) conduct Exercise NOBLE LEDGER in Germany.

Pictured top: More than 3000 personnel from 14 different NATO countries taking part in Ex VENERABLE GAUNTLET in September. This was a UK-led national validation exercise for NATO VJTF 17.

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