The ENGINEER Branch of EUROCORPS is making every other year an exercise which is open to soldiers belonging to Engineer Corps of different nations. It takes one year to form an exercise at the scale of EURETEX. The designing and making occur during a so called planning process, involving many EUROCORPS personnel and representatives from participating nations or units.
At onset of the planning process, a requirement for training and exercising is defined. In the context of an ever changing and developing security- or national resilience domain, nations may have purchased new equipment and materials, and introduced new operating procedures. Therefore, EURETEX is designed to prepare Engineers for their role in multinational environments. In order not to fall short of exercise expectations, participants have the opportunity to define their training aspirations during the exercise planning process.
EURETEX is a LIVEX at the tactical level and aims to foster and enhance interoperability among Engineers from EUROCORPS’ framework and associated nations and any other sending nations through sharing experience, best practices and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). The domains and expertise which are rehearsed belong to the functional areas of sappers, divers, EOD (including K9), CBRN Defense, GEOINFO (MILGEO & METOC).
When working closely together in a multinational environment, in case of a common military operation, it is key that soldiers from different nations understand and are familiarized with each other’s TTPs. Therefore, NATO documentation and reports and returns have to be used properly. Thus, during the exercise, coordination and cooperation between the multinational training audiences have to be strengthened.
In total, forty personnel of the military workforce have been involved in the making of EURETEX. Ten personnel of EUROCORPS’ Engineer Branch worked during one entire year in benefit of EURETEX. Periodically, they were supported, reinforced by another ten EUROCORPS personnel from other branches in different expertise and disciplines. Depending on the number of participating nations or units, one can add another twenty unit representatives who participated in the planning process.
Exercises have to be formed as realistic as possible but within the available means and resources. Favorable conditions for achieving the assumed training goals have to be created. The first step in planning is the exercise concept and specification development. Its purpose is to achieve a common understanding among key stakeholders on the overall exercise requirements, the aim and objectives, and to develop a viable exercise concept for their achievement. The second step is the exercise planning and product development. It includes development of the Exercise Plan and other exercise deliverables including remaining scenario modules. Among the major deliverables of the planning and product development stage, the most important are the training objectives, the main events list and main incident list. The Exercise Plan provides direction and guidance to the training audience, the exercise direction and control, supporting agencies, evaluation teams, analysis teams, and experimentation teams. The third step is the collective training and exercise conduct. Observations and lessons identified will be collected and processed throughout all operational conduct phases. Direction and control, better known as EXDIR and EXCON, have to ensure the exercise is conducted as planned. An important aspect of EXCON is Real Life Support at the exercise locations and is resourced by the Host Nation. Belgium fulfills this role for EURETEX 2021. The final step involves analysis and reporting. When the remedial actions report is submitted, planners can start looking towards the making of the next EURETEX.
The Commanding General of EUROCORPS, Lieutenant General Devogelaere, stated that “The EURETEX 2021 provides our partners an opportunity to deploy to Belgium, to integrate and subsequently conduct common training, shoulder-to-shoulder with soldiers from different nations.” The design and development of this exercise at such a scale, has lasted one year and involved a total of forty exercise planners. A “sincere thank you” for your dedicated work to facilitate EURETEX.