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Scenario Example


The defense of Western Europe is a fundamental US national security objective. This sample exercise scenario for a notional corps in the Central Army Group (CENTAG) in Europe portrays corps actions during the early days of a general war in Central Europe. To provide the foundation for both the exercise scenario and the schedule of events, exercise planners develop a scenario outline.



During general alerts or wartime, national forces in NATO are placed under operational command (OPCOM) of the Allied Command, Europe (ACE). Each nation is responsible for its own combat service support; therefore, the US theater army (TA) commander will retain command and control of US CSS forces in the communications zone (COMMZ). The resulting NATO command structure is shown below.


The nations of Europe are generally divided into two camps: the western-aligned nations that comprise NATO; the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes that make up the Warsaw Pact. Germany is similarly divided, with the Federal Republic of Germany aligned with NATO, and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) aligned with the Warsaw Pact. Germany is vital to the interests of both NATO and Soviet efforts to expand their spheres of influence.

Three months ago, relations between NATO and the USSR deteriorated to the point of a complete diplomatic breakdown. Charges of an unprecedented Soviet arms buildup and charges of Soviet violations of arms control agreements by NATO were answered by strident propaganda attacks by communist controlled news media. This propaganda further deteriorated confidence and increased tensions.

Both the Warsaw Pact and NATO forces have fully mobilized. The general disposition of forces and threat attack plans are shown in Figures 24 and 25. Initial enemy air superiority is assumed.


In the past several years, relations between NATO nations and the enemy in Central Europe steadily deteriorated over the issue of the reunification of Germany. In early 19__, most negotiations and diplomatic relations between the Western Allies and the enemy were suspended. By E-73, provocative Soviet maneuver exercises along the eastern border of the Federal Republic of Germany had increased. Intelligence reports indicated a massive buildup, especially in the central region of Germany. By E-60, the NATO secretary general authorized the European allied commander to declare a low-level alert. All national units permanently assigned under Allied Command Europe were reinforced, and all nonessential US dependents were ordered to CONUS. The commander in chief, United States Army, Europe (CINCUSAREUR), requested early shipment of replacement combat vehicles, as well as buildup of ammunition, spare parts, and high priority Class IX assemblies from CONUS.

In response to a continued enemy buildup, NATO declared a mid-level alert on E-37 and a high-level alert one week later (E-30), when all NATO nations began mobilization. On the same day, the US declared a state of national emergency and ordered selected units of the Ready and Standby Reserves to active duty. The president ordered the deployment of forces to Germany. During the mobilization period, a limited number of active personnel and combat and combat support units began deploying to Europe by air. Merchant ships were engaged to transport equipment and other supplies to Europe to reinforce deployed US units.

The Soviet Union ignored repeated attempts to negotiate; therefore, NATO nations continued to strengthen their defenses in Central Europe. As NATO's defense posture improved rapidly, the chances of an enemy daring raid diminished until it was no longer considered a realistic threat. The primary threat appeared to be a major offensive operation against NATO forces, as indicated by continued enemy air buildup and ground force deployment. On E-25, several US Air Force fighter, fighter bomber, and reconnaissance squadrons began deploying to Germany.

On E-14, the 10th (US) and 12th (US) Corps units were deployed to positions along the international border. From north to south, CENTAG forces consisted of the 9th (GE), 12th (US), 10th (US), and 4th (GE) Corps.

The enemy continued to build up combat units and began to pre-position ammunition and fuel at supply points along the inter-national border. Upgraded active duty CS and CSS units were deployed from CONUS. A COMMZ was established under a TA commander to support the 10th (US) and 12th (US) Corps. Recently activated Reserve Component units were deployed from CONUS by air and surface transportation and began arriving in the theater at E-10.

Allied forces continued making defensive preparations in sectors, and at E-7 all CENTAG corps implemented their OPLANS. In the 10th (US) Corps sector, OPLAN 1-82 became OPORD 1-82. It placed the 201st Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 313th Separate Mechanized Brigade in a covering force mission under the deputy corps commander. The 20th Infantry Division, the 54th Mechanized Division, the 124th Separate Infantry Brigade, the 25th Armored Division, and the 230th Separate Armored Brigade were ordered to defend the MBA in the corps sector. The 312th Separate Mechanized Division was given a primary RACO mission in the corps rear. The 171st Air Cavalry Combat Brigade was placed in reserve.

POMCUS was issued, and residual was placed in the supply system. All PWRMs were issued by E-Day. PWRMs remaining at E-Day were treated as GS supply items reported accordingly.

Intelligence reports indicated enemy force concentrations were nearing final preparation for a major offensive operation. Three combined arms armies and one tank army were identified massing near the international border.

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