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Ex. 'Quick Lion'. Last set-up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Number: 75

Captain De Meer’s men have settled at the COP Position at the operation area. This place is going to be home for them during the next 72 hours, the time the certification exercise they are involved in is going to last, though not as subject of the evaluation. It took place last May already, and they passed it successfully. It was back then when they had  to prove they were ready to take part, together with their partners from 4th Legion Tercio, the majority of the EU Battle Group Package that will enter availability phase in the first semester 2019.

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For them, the ‘Quick Lion’ exercise that took place at ‘San Gregorio’ Training Centre (Zaragoza) and  Igriés operation area (Huesca) from 19th to 30th November reinforced their training. The ones who were really being examined were the members of Division ‘Castillejos’ Headquarters, which was going to be evaluated as joint-combined Force Headquarters by the EU BG.


The División "Castillejos" General Headquarters

was evaluated to lead the EU BG.


In order to test the Headquarters’ knowledge on procedures and information management, and the action capacity of the deployed troops, a ficititious situation was presented, in which the Battle Group was forced to deploy due to a crisis between two countries caused by the control of a region that belonged to one of them, but most of its population came from the other.

The atmosphere was tense, with conventional forces and paramilitary groups in favour of both positions. The role of the EU’s Rapid Response Force was to act as interposition force and avoid possible confrontations.

Integrated in this force was the COP-based company, whose mission was to ensure the freedom of movement of the inhabitants in the area. This mission had been assigned to them during the referendum in which their future would be determined. It was joined by many others, such as aeromobile, hostage rescue, escort, patrol, contact with civil authorities or convoy protection operations, carried out by the members of the Group, based on the 10th Flag of the 4th Tercio, with the participation of other Legion units.This has been ‘an opportunity for training in line with the commitments of the European Common Security Policy, as well as an incentive for the Legion soldiers, who have trained and know they can be be employed’, as chief of the Battle Group, colonel Armada said.

The fact of having the units deployed on the ground provided more realism to the actions. It was also an excellent occasion to integrate all the elements that are part of this Force, with members of the Navy, the Air Force, the Civil Guard and the Military Emergencies Unit, as well as the Portuguese and Italian Armed Forces.

In total, around 2,500 soldiers were involved in the exercise, in the ‘most important opportunity  for training of the year’ for the Division ‘Castillejos’ Headquarters, as their chief, general González-Valerio claimed. It demonstrates that Spain has the appropriate command and control capacities to lead the EU Force. If necessary, it could integrate the other Battle Group, that will also remain activated during the first semester (and that is formed by France and Belgium), as it has the capacity to integrate additional forces.

That is why the general compared it to sending the three Brigades under his responsibility. He was happy to have been trained in alleged cases  so similar to the real ones, that were created by the Regiment ‘España’ (that acted controlling the exercise.)
They have tried to obtain the greatest similarities with real deployment , even regarding life conditions. Tents have been set up with no support on any existing infrastructure. The ‘Quick Lion’ philosophy has been to act as if deployment was immediate.



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The FHQ deployed at the Igriés operation area. It was integrated by the Division ‘Castillejos’ General Headquarters, plus personnel from other units of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Guard and Military Emergencies Unit, as well as the Portuguese and Italian Armed Forces. Choosing Igriés was not a chance, but a wink towards the future move, planned for 2020, of the Division General Headquarters to the city of Huesca. Apart form this, the military camp of Igriés offered all the necessary for an exemplary deployment, thanks to its dimensions and characteristics. The deployment was made with tents, both for working and living areas, which required powerful logistics (mainly provided by the 21st Logistics Support Group).

The work made by the personnel of the 2nd/1 Transmission Battalion was also crucial to guarantee communications and liaison, as it was the cooperation of other units from the Transmissions Command in terms of cyberdefence, for network security.



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On 26th November, ‘Quick Lion’ received the visit of Margarita Robles, Minister of Defence, and representatives from the Defence commissions of the Congress and the Senate.

They attended the development of two tactics matters at ‘San Gregorio’. The first of them had to do with the Casas Altas urban combat area, executed by the 10th Flag. It was a double-action hostage rescue exercise, with the intervention of helicopters and Special Operations.

The second one was followed from the Tres Poyetes observatory. It was a real fire, conventional combat exercise performed by the 7th Flag (that acted as QRF.) The action started when a check-point was in danger due to the threat of hostile forces.

The Minister of Defence also visited a static exhibition of the materials, equiment and weapons that will be included in the development of the ‘Fuerza 2035’ concept, organised by the Logistics Support Command of the Army. Practically all the systems presented are, or will shortly be, (before the end of 2019) at the disposal of the Experimental Brigade (BRIEX), and will take part in the different activities scheduled for the Terrestrial Force Experimental Plan.

The most relevant vehicle in the presentation was undoubtedly the MTR (Mobile Test Rig) of the future 8x8 VCR. This MTR is the prototype designed for the improvement and assessment of the engine and transmission. The presentation was made by the Section of Support to Programmes of the Purchasing Direction and counted with personnel from the BRIEX, that will shortly take part of the operational evaluation of this material. The 8x8 VCR, with its 13 versions, will replace the BMR, TOA M113 and VEC, among others, with a high degree of versatility, protection, mobility and superiority when in combat. 

Last set-up





Photo gallery exercise "Quick Lion"

Galería de imágenes del Ejército de Tierra



Video exercise"Quick Lion"