Drawsko Pomorskie Military Training Area, Poland. The Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Salvatore FARINA, attended the Distinguished Visitors' Day at the Polish-led Exercise, ANAKONDA 16, where he witnessed a demonstration of the military capabilities trained throughout the exercise. General Farina also took the opportunity to discuss collective defence, deterrence and interoperability with senior military leaders and civil dignitaries present at the event.
ANAKONDA 16, the most ambitious of the homonymous series of exercises held to date, is the largest defence exercise to be held on Polish soil this year and aimed at improving the readiness of the Polish forces and their ability to work with forces from Allies and partners, planning and conducting operations in a complex operational environment. Under the lead of the Polish Armed Forces Operational Commander, Lieutenant General Marek Tomaszycki, a total of 31,000 personnel from 18 NATO-member and 6 -partner nations, equipped with 3,000 vehicles, 105 aircraft and 12 maritime vessels performed a wide range of tasks, including bridge-building, anti-air & anti-missile firings and air assault activities. Some elements of the land portion of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) - which were deployed to Poland during NATO exercise BRILLIANT JUMP 2016 last May – also took part in the exercise.
"ANAKONDA showcased a significant level of interoperability, confirming that Allies remain strong in support of each other and that they stand firmly, side by side, in deterring potential adversaries" – the Commander JFC Brunssum noted.
On 14 and 15 June General Farina had also visited exercise BALTOPS16 , taking place in the Baltic Sea, on board the Royal Navy's Fleet flagship HMS OCEAN and the USS MOUNT WHITNEY, having the opportunity to meet with the Commander UKMARFOR, Rear Admiral A. Burton, and the Commander STRIKFORNATO, Vice Admiral J. Foggo. The two flagships are able to host and enable non-organic command elements up to joint level.
BALTOPS 2016 is a Multinational maritime exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability as well as to demonstrate resolve among NATO and partner forces to defend the Baltic Sea region. The exercise was conducted in a challenging environment with a focus on maritime, air and amphibious warfare which facilitated to improve the interoperability of troops from 17 nations contributing with some 35 ships and 70 aircraft operated by more than 3.000 personnel. In addition, more than 800 amphibious troops embarked and launched in three different and complex landing operations.
"It is amazing - General Farina commented at the end of his visit - to see the contributions of all these individuals in conjunction with the systems and platforms manned and operated, summing up to interoperable multinational forces, connected worldwide".
"BALTOPS and ANAKONDA exercises – concluded General Farina – are impressive examples for the willingness and capability of NATO-member and –partner nations to plan and conduct complex exercises and operations. They also confirm, once more, that NATO's strength comes from the combined efforts of all its members through practice and commitment, producing effective combined, joint forces which are capable of conducting operations across the full spectrum of conventional and unconventional warfare."