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First phase of military crisis management exercise MILEX 23 begins

September 18, 2023
  •  Este año se realizará en España el primer ejercicio en vivo  de la UE como parte del MILEX 23

The military crisis management exercise MILEX 23 has begun. The opening ceremony at the EU Operational Headquarters in Brussels was conducted by the Director General of the European Union Military Staff, General Werner Albl and the Military Director for Planning and Conduct Capability, Lieutenant General Michiel Van der Laan.

During his address, Lieutenant General Van der Laan stressed that "for many years, the EU has been primarily involved in command post exercises to improve the EU's military decision-making capability in response to external conflicts and crises. However, the Strategic Compass is instrumental in helping the EU to embrace live exercises as a crucial element in further improving our preparedness, adaptability and versatility in preparing for and responding to future crises. Field Force exercises with progressive engagement of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) are a key element in improving the readiness and interoperability of the EU's Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) and signal member states' commitment to proactive crisis management. What we learn from MILEX 23 will be crucial to refine our concepts, identify gaps and improve operational processes".

The aim of MILEX 23 is to further improve the European Union's military preparedness to respond to external conflicts and crises. The next five weeks will focus on the planning and execution of a Common Security and Defence Policy in a hybrid threat environment.

As a major milestone, this year the EU's first field force deployment exercise (LIVEX) will be conducted in Spain as part of MILEX 23. It will be the first of its kind conducted by the European Union and is a key component in the development of the EU's Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC). One of the main objectives of the EU's implementation of the Strategic Compass is a fully operational Rapid Deployment Capability by 2025.

Exercise MILEX 23 consists of two interlinked parts. The first, which started today, consists of a command post exercise and will run until Friday 6 October. It will test the military planning process at the strategic and operational level.

The second part is LIVEX and will run from Monday 16 October to Sunday 22 October. During these days, the Force, composed of 31 units and 2,800 personnel, will deploy to a simulated theatre of operations in the province of Cadiz and execute the operational plan developed during the planning phase.

MILEX 23 is the culmination of nearly fourteen months of detailed planning and preparation by the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) Directorate of Concepts and Capabilities.

The exercise involves the strategic, operational and tactical levels and is represented by 19 EU member states with the participation of various HQs, locations and operational units.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will visit the live phase of the exercise, LIVEX, on 17 October. Two days later, it will be the turn of the EU Chiefs of Staff to visit Seville for the first European Union Military Committee (EUMC) to take place outside Brussels. Both visits underline the importance of LIVEX as a significant milestone in the adoption of an EU Rapid Deployment Capability.