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Mar 10 2023

Multinational Corps Northeast wraps up exercise Griffin Lightning 23 with combat ready Multinational Division North

SZCZECIN, Poland – On March 10, Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) concluded exercise Griffin Lightning 23 (GRLI23). During this training event, multiple staffs from across the Corps enhanced their operational readiness throughout the whole chain of command, including the combat readiness evaluation (CREVAL) of Headquarters Multinational Division North (MND N).

GRLI 23 is a periodic command post exercise designed to test MNC NE's capabilities in simulated pre- and Article 5 environments. Additionally, this year's iteration served as a platform to evaluate Headquarters Multinational Division North as a combat ready command. Supervised by Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), the evaluation process was nuanced and aimed to check about how MND N is interoperable with the Corps and the rest of the Alliance. The chief purpose of CREVAL was to validate the command-and-control (C2) capabilities of the Division's headquarters to perform its deterrence and defence mission, and to identify areas requiring improvement. Referring to the importance of HQ MND N, Lieutenant General Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, Commander MNC NE, emphasized: 

With Multinational Division North, we gain greater situation awareness and a more agile force. It is an important addition to the NATO Force Structure.
GRLI23 took place across multiple locations, incl. the forward command post in Ādaži, Latvia, supervised by MG Mathiasen, Commander MND N / Photos by Morten Fredslund

Headquartered in Ādaži, Latvia, the Division's command comprises personnel from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, in addition to Denmark, Estonia and Latvia as the Division's framework nations. It was established in 2019, alongside the already existing Headquarters Multinational Division North East from Elbląg, Poland, in order to provide MNC NE with more robust C2 functions and greater situational awareness in the north of the Baltic Sea region. While summarizing his staff's work, Major General Flemming Mathiasen, Commander MND N, highlighted:

We succeeded in working together, combining efforts and maximising the effects of our actions.

GRLI23 took place across multiple locations in the region, e.g. Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany. Of particular importance for the training output was the contribution by external stakeholders, including the German 1st Armoured and Polish 12th Mechanised Divisions. Their willingness to participate was an integral part of MNC NE’s ability to improve its operational capability and accomplish exercise and training objectives. By including so many Allies, GRLI23 was able to enhance NATO's interoperability based on the common use of doctrines, tactics, procedures and functional services. 

Upon the completion of GRLI23, von Sandrart stated: "While this exercise is an important milestone, we have to make sure that we remain vigilant and continually improve our interoperability and readiness. Accordingly, this exercise is a milestone, not an endpoint."

Among the training audiences were i.e. the German 1st Armoured Division and Multinational Division North East which both deployed their commanding generals to Bydgoszcz, Poland / Photos by Divisions' PAOs
LTG von Sandrart, Commander MNC NE: "GRLI 23 helped consolidate our staffs to better leverage our unique skillsets and strengths so that we can handle whatever comes our way" / Photo by Malak Karnib
During GRLI23, HQ MNC NE staff operated from Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland / Photo by Malak Karnib
MG Ulrich Hellebjerg, Deputy Commander MNC NE and BG José María Martínez Ferrer, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans LANDCOM sign the MND N evaluation report, Ādaži, Latvia / Photo by Morten Fredslund

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin