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The main focus of the Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm is to plan and exercise command and control of global crisis management operations as tasked by the UN, NATO or the EU. To this end, the Command has a multinational staff composed of Army, Air Force, Navy, Joint Medical Service, and Joint Support Service forces, as well as of civilian subject matter experts.

Command Seal (Source: MN KdoOpFü)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

The Command was activated on 1 July 2013 as the successor to the former Response Forces Operations Command based in Ulm, Germany. While the majority of the personnel were retained in the new structure, the share of multinational staff has increased considerably, currently adding up to approximately 50 soldiers from 17 NATO and EU nations. (This number is planned to rise to up to 170 posts.)

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Multinationality in the Command (Source: Bundeswehr)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

Core Competencies of the Ulm Command

The Ulm Command is a groundbreaking response to the increasingly complex operational challenges and the need to make more efficient use of available military assets. Within the scope of initiatives such as NATO’s “Smart Defence” and the EU’s “Pooling and Sharing”, Germany leads the way in realizing the cooperative ambitions of these supranational organizations. The structures are essentially based on years of experience and lessons learned from exercises and ongoing operations. The Command’s core competency is the ability to plan and exercise command and control over jointly operating land, air, and naval forces, medical personnel and specialized forces from different nations, also including civilian governmental and non-governmental actors in the crisis area. A high degree of operational readiness and highly mobile command post and state-of-the-art IT equipment make sure the Command is capable of rapidly deploying to any place in the world at any time.

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Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Potsdam (Source: Bundeswehr)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

Challenges Require Innovation

The traditional command structure featuring “Operations” and “Support” has been modified fundamentally and supplemented by innovative additional areas. Information collection and knowledge management, procedures to plan and exercise command and control of military operations while interacting with civilian actors in the theater of operations, the capability to use non-violent means (Strategic Communications), meeting logistic challenges under adverse climatic conditions in countries that are far away from Europe and frequently short of sufficient infrastructure – all these areas are now adequately reflected in the new Command structures. This enhances and expands the potential for successful crisis management.

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The Command’s Backbone

Attached to the Command is a Headquarters Support Group comprising an Operations Company and a Support Company. This element ensures the provision of all capabilities required for routine duty and during exercises and operations, such as logistics, command support, and camp management. In the future, further special functions will be centrally provided by the Joint Support Service and the partner nations. The MN JHQ Ulm and the Austrian Armed Forces have already reached an agreement on cooperating in the deployment and operation of the command post.

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Force Headquarters (FHQ) (Source: Bundeswehr)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

Priority Number One: Focus on Operations

By providing the Ulm Command, Germany fulfills its commitment to establish an operational command and control instrument suitable to address global crisis management scenarios.

If requested by the EU, the Command is capable of deploying the majority of its personnel and materiel to a crisis area on short notice to set up a Force Headquarters (FHQ), and plan and exercise command and control of operations in theater. In addition, it can also function as an Operation Headquarters (OHQ) exercising operational command and control at the highest military level - the military-strategic level - from within Germany. When serving as an OHQ, the emphasis of the Command’s work lies on translating political requirements into military courses of action. In the event of activation, the Command’s infrastructure at the Henning von Tresckow barracks in Potsdam, Germany, will be used for this purpose. This installation also served to accommodate the OHQ for the EU’s EUFOR RD CONGO mission.

Within the scope of NATO operations, the Ulm Command would act as a Deployable Joint Task Force Headquarters or Joint Force Headquarters within the member states’ NATO Force Structure.

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Deployable Multinational Situation Center (Source: Bundeswehr)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

Optimizing Command and Control Capabilities

Military experience and lessons learned by the EU, NATO and the UN, as well as those from non-military organizations working at the multinational level, are evaluated and implemented to improve the Ulm Command’s own mission accomplishment. The Ulm Command monitors national and multinational developments of command, control and planning procedures, and integrates them, together with lessons learned from operations and exercises, into projects related to the further development of the armed forces.

In cooperation with the Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command, the single service commands, the Bundeswehr Planning Office and the military organizational areas, the Ulm Command is driving the optimization of joint command and control capabilities using the latest communication technologies. In this effort, the Command views network enabled operations as a key contributor to increasing operational effectiveness.

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Current as of 3/27/17 | Author: 


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