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Dynamic Action

The Dynamic Action exercise is one of two major headquarters-level exercises routinely conducted annually by AFSOUTH. Dynamic Mix, the Southern Region's major live exercise normally takes place in the fall and Dynamic Action, a command post, computer assisted exercise is held each year in the March/April timeframe.

The objective of Exercise Dynamic Action 97 was to test and prove the ability of NATO to muster varied resources to defend member nations. Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSouth) completed the largest Computer Assisted Exercise (CAX), attempted by NATO in more than three years. Stressing the importance of operational success, in the CAX scenario -- a purely artificial environment, the full strength of NATO military forces in the world's most volatile region was pitted against fictitious aggressors attempting to violate the sovereignty of NATO nations.

Behind this highly technical exercise were hundreds of Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines thinking, planning and pulling together NATO's resources to fight this simulated war. For 10 days, Southern Region personnel moved, employed and deployed NATO air, land, and maritime assets, and to engage two hostile enemies. They did all this inside the matrix of a complex communication network rivaling the highest levels of technology used today. A quick thinking, war mongrel computer accepts the inputs of multiple locations and levels of war fighting, pits it against its random but educated military mind, and produces a simulation of war. The CAX process is used to work out the kinks that are indicative of joint and combined operations and to recognize and conquer command, control and communications problems without losing real assets or lives.

The computer-assisted exercise Dynamic Action 98 (DA98) sought to combine training in overall command and control, with multi-national operations and combined joint task force (CJTF) concepts. NATO's Southern Region command, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), led this major computer-assisted exercise which began 12 March 1998 and ran through March 20, 1998. DA98 also incorporated training for NATO headquarters staffs on operations with non-NATO forces participation. The exercise scenario will include a requirement for a NATO-led peace enforcement force, and also for simultaneous operations of other kinds - such as humanitarian relief.

DA98 began on board the USS LaSalle at Gaeta, Italy, simulating an afloat CJTF command headquarters. The CJTF headquarters later moved to its land base, at the AFSOUTH headquarters in Naples, Italy, for the second phase of the exercise. NATO headquarters in other locations provided response cells.

DA98, which had been planned for over a year, was under the direction of the Headquarters, Allied Forces Southern Europe. The officer scheduling the exercise was the commander-in-chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH), Admiral T. Joseph Lopez. Admiral Lopez was also the officer conducting the exercise.

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