The German Air Force and European Air Group (EAG) exercise DOBEX /VOLCANEX (DOVO) ran from 17th till the 25th October 2016 at Lechfeld Air Base and saw a 600-strong eight-nation coalition take part in training for the buildup and protection of a Deployed Operating Base in a simulated, semi-permissive environment. The aim of the exercise was to activate a Deployed Operating Base (DOB) in Line with NATO and EAG Doctrines, Publication and Procedures with an available pool of Multinational Force Elements the main focus of the exercise was the Force Protection of the DOB during its Transition from activation to Initial Operation Capability (IOC). The Objectives of DOVO 16 where to enhance interoperability and promote standardization amongst EAG and NATO Elements and improve the ability to Plug in the national capabilities into a multinational DOB and construct a minimum required infrastructure to achieve DOB IOC under Force Protection and operate in a Temporary C2 structure and to prepare DOB FOC (Full Operational Capability).
The Situation „Crisis in Gotor“
The war in the southern Regions of Gotor led to a humanitarian crisis in the region of SHAIVIAL and the United Nation’s decide to start a Humanitarian Mission to help the People of SHAIVIAL.
The Mission is to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance under UN Chapter VII Mandate with the Authorization to take all necessary measures to ensure peace and protection of civilians and UN personnel.The main task is now to establish and protect a DOB at Lechfeld Airbase in the neutral region of ALPINA.
The Deployed Operating Base
The Multination Force now build up the the DOB which consists of several Elements as seen below.
The Elements of DOB Lechfeld
Base Camp / Security
In advance of the exercise German pioneers bring in 720 loaded trucks to prepare the environment for the Base Camp which was build up by German and Italian Troops .The on Base security was provided by the Specialists of the Royal Air Force Police who brings in key Experience from their missions around the world and share it to the other Nations.
The Air Traffic Services where provided by the RAF’s Number 90 Signals Unit, based at RAF Leeming. During DOVO16 they proved their capability to deploy and operate communications, navigation aids, a mobile air traffic control tower and mobile radar facilities.
Fire fighters of the Norwegian Air Force and their German counterparts provide Fire & Rescue service for the DOB and the Air Operations while Spain brings in a Deployable
A 35 strong team of German engineers provide Airfield Destruction Repair during the exercise they were able to conduct live repairs at the Airfield a favorable effect for the Base.
The biggest part of the exercise with around 170 personnel from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Norway and France and consists of different assets like JTAC/FAC(Joint Terminal Attack Controller/Forward Air Controller), UAS/Recce, Infantry, EDD(Explosive Device Detection), Sinpers and Fire Support assets . A key role plays the German Airforce Objektschutzregiment „ Friesland“ and the Flugabwehrraketengruppe 61 with their Modular ,Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS) .
A “normal” day at the DOB Lechfeld
It was a normal cloudy and cold morning at the DOB Lechfeld in Gator as an alarm sound s, the MANTIS system has detected a mortar bombardment and starts to intercept the incoming Motar projectile unfortunately the MANTIS misses and the Motar detonated near the fence of the Base. Through the hole in the fence enemy troops approach the area while the MANTIS crew went in position to defend themselves against the attack. The enemies went into a nearby shelter and took the MANTIS under fire.
In the meantime, the alerted Multinational forces reached the scene and go in position to counter the attack. The enemies realize that they are running out of chances so they decide to split out, while the first group tries to escape into the woods while the second group was killed by an Italian Sniper squad.
The first group was able to get hide in the environment so the allied force decide that it is too dangerous for their troops to get the Rebells so they choose to use the support of the Air Asset. An British JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) Team calls in an Show of force to give the enemies an last chance for capitulation. But the enemies forces decide not to do so so the JTACS ordered an Air Strike on the enemies position localized by an ALADIN drone.
After the outside area was cleared an specialized squad of the Objektschutzregiment „ Friesland“ launch an MIKADO copter drone to get an clear Image of the shelters inside. While French and German troops secure the outside the Royal Air Force Police prepares to enter the Shelter and arrest the remaining enemy Fighters.
The Royal Airforce Police Forces stormed the Shelter and use their Dog to force down the enemys.
After all remaining fighter got arrested EOD teams scan the area to make sure the enemies don’t left any Explosives Devices in the area. As they came to the Pick-up Truck they find an Vest on the ramp so they decide to let it investigate by the Swedish EOD team. They investigate the Vest with their special trained Dog and find out it is an Explosive-Vest so the Italy team brings in their Robot to pick up the west and destroy it after. The area was cleared and the Fire and Rescue Teams respond to the scene to provide medical assistance to injured personal.
This demonstration shows a part of the challenges that the participants had to face during the Two weeks Exercise. At the End I would thanks the PAO Team of the Luftwaffentruppenkommando and European Air Group for the Opportunity and their Support during DOVO 16 !