NATO's Military Future
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Hohenfels is a household name to many American soldiers. For decades, 7th Army trained in this part of Germany for large scale mechanized combat on the plains of Central Europe. While the old Warsaw Pact that provided the focus of that training has disappeared, our soldiers still hone their combat skills--from tank gunnery to small unit maneuvers--there and at nearby Grafenwohr. Even though tank main gun rounds are still cracking down range, profound changes are underway at the 7th Army training center former Cold War warriors of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s would be struck by its transformation. Hohenfels remains capable of accommodating thousands of troops in a combat maneuver setting. But of equal importance, it is also now a proving ground for the new NATO non-article V missions that extend beyond collective defense. This capability was illustrated vividly when Secretary of Defense William Perry toured Hohenfels and Grafenwohr in November 1995 to observe the 1st Armored Division preparing for the Bosnia operation. First he visited a range where M1A1 crews were firing qualification tables for tank gunnery. Less than an hour later, he encountered American soldiers at mock villages in peasant costumes and assorted uniforms playing Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs. Hohenfels proved to be ideal as a setting in which to prepare troops for the Implementation Force IFOR, just as it had prepared troops for armored mobile warfare in past years. There is tremendous symbolism in the Hohenfels of the mid-1990s. While tank gunnery is the traditional NATO article V mission of collective defense, mock villages and role playing represent the new NATO role in operations other than war. This highlights an essential truth the military future of NATO depends on achieving a balance between continuity and change.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics