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May 18 2021

Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, Minister of Defence of The Netherlands, visits the Joint Support and Enabling Command on the Visitors Day of NATOs Flagship Exercise Steadfast Defender 2021

Ulm, Germany – Lieutenant General Jürgen Knappe, JSEC Commander, welcomed Mrs. Bijleveld-Schouten in the Wilhelmsburg Barracks among 40 high-ranked guests from many other NATO member states. The visitors day is part of the command post exercise portion of Steadfast Defender 2021, conducted in Ulm from 12 to 20 May.

The Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) and the Standing Joint Logistics Support Group (SJLSG), both located in Ulm, will show for the first time how they can contribute to projecting combat forces across Europe in a close coordination. Some 300 participants from 17 nations train to coordinate the rapid and seamless movement of virtual allied forces and their sustainment across European borders in a fictitious scenario.

JSEC and SJLSG will play a tremendously important role in the enablement of SACEUR's area of responsibility, contributing significantly to NATO's responsiveness.

Bijleveld-Schouten pointed out, "Obviously, these two specific headquarters, JSEC and SJLSG, will play a tremendously important role in the enablement of SACEUR's area of responsibility, contributing significantly to NATO's responsiveness."

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From left to right: Brigadier General Arco Solkesz, JSEC Chief of Staff, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, Defence Minister of The Netherlands, Lieutenant General Jürgen Knappe, JSEC Commander, Colonel James Philips, Deputy Chief of Staff, JSEC Operations Directorate (JSEC picture by Lieutenant Arnim Jungnickel, DEU N)

JSEC's participation in the exercise forms an important milestone on its path to full readiness in fall 2021. In its first major NATO exercise, JSEC will focus on enabling the movement and integration of around 15.000 simulated forces in the Supreme Allied Commander Europe's (SACEUR) area of responsibility, especially in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

We will coordinate troop movements across the Alliance in all directions, 360°

"We will coordinate the NATO and national troop movements across the Alliance in all directions, 360°," explained Lieutenant General Jürgen Knappe, JSEC Commander. In addition, the exercise is a test-bed to evaluate and optimize JSEC's concept, structure, functionality and capabilities.

During the media conference, Mrs. Bijleveld-Schouten stated, "I believe, intensifying our bilateral cooperation on military mobility, both, strategically and practically, is one of the keys to successful Europe-wide deterrence and credibility. In addition, I think that Germany and The Netherlands set the example with the cooperation between our two countries."

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"Germany and The Netherlands set the example with their cooperation," said Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, Defence Minister of The Netherlands, during the media conference in Ulm (JSEC picture by Lieutenant Arnim Jungnickel, DEU N)
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Brigadier General Duncan Bedding (left) is the Commander of the Standing Joint Logistics Support Group, located in the Wilhelmsburg Barracks in Ulm, Germany (JSEC picture by Airman First Class Gina Seegert, DEU AF)

Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command Public Affairs Office

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