JTF HQ Readiness: Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team Collective Training

Strasbourg, Barracks Aubert de Vincelles. From February 19th to 21st, the EUROCORPS staff of the Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team (OLRT) received collective training in order to maintain the necessary readiness during our NATO stand-by phase in 2024 as a Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ).

The OLRT is a small team of specialists that deploys to a theatre of operations prior to the deployment of the JTF HQ. The team is responsible for ensuring liaison with the relevant counterparts of the Host Nation and any potential stakeholders from the international community already committed to the theater (the EU, the UN, NGOs, etc). These diverse sources and agencies provide the valuable information necessary to conduct a political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information analysis (PMESII). From this analysis, the OLRT delivers comments and assessments in response to requests for information (RFI) from the Joint Operations Planning Group (JOPG) responsible for the crisis response planning.

For three days, the appointed staff received detailed lectures, briefings, and practical training regarding processes and procedures related to OLRT readiness, deployment and tasks. The first day was dedicated to an introduction and outlined the responsibilities of OLRT. The Training Audience got an overview of the deployment concept, timelines and notice to move as well as guidance related to the reports and return process. These are necessary during this phase before the deployment for sound co-ordination with the homebased elements (SITCEN and JOPG).

The second day focused on the OLRT material package and the Communication and Information System Capabilities. All OLRT members joined the training area where the Multinational Command Support Brigade’s soldiers (MNCS Bde) presented all the equipment necessary for setting up an OLRT Command Post in an assumed worst-case scenario. In such a case the OLRT must be able to fulfill its tasks being independent and self-sufficient for a determined period of time without any support from the Host Nation.

During the last day of the training, representatives from the EUROCORPS Advisors Group presented the legal framework and media techniques for this kind of mission. Then, the OLRT members received practical training in the preparation and conduct of Key Leader Engagements, a central part of OLRT’s tasks.

General LAURENT, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations and OLRT leader, concluded, “This training is important and enables the members of the OLRT to get to know each other and build the team” as well as “to fully appreciate the real logistical challenge that our potential deployment requires if the alert is triggered. He also highlighted “the remarkable work done by the soldiers of the MNCSBde in preparing and maintaining all this equipment in operational condition.”

NATO certified EUROCORPS last December during Exercise Steadfast Jackal in Norway. Nevertheless, the ability to be ready remains a priority for all alert personnel, including the OLRT. This type of training is therefore necessary to sustain existing knowledge and provide new OLRT personnel with information and skills necessary in case of deployment in support of Crisis Response Planning process on JTF HQ level.

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