As attention turns to the potential for ‘peer on peer’ conflict in Eastern Europe, a 65km stretch of land between Belarus and Kaliningrad known as the Suwalki Corridor has once again been recognised as vital ground for NATO.
Should the Suwalki Corridor be captured or denied, countries such Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia would become isolated. Maintaining freedom of manoeuvre in the Suwalki Corridor will require NATO to overcome significant Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2/AD) challenges should conflict occur.
Following ‘The Threat to Mobility’, a virtual discussion group in June 2020 which brought together participants from 14 nations, Pearson Engineering sought to continue the conversation among the mobility and manoeuvre support community with a panel discussion at International Armoured Vehicles 2021. ‘The Suwalki Corridor & Heavy Metal Warfare – High Intensity Warfare in Eastern Europe’ brought together expert thinkers, senior military personnel and experience from NATO’s enhanced forward presence in Poland to consider how challenges may be overcome from a U.S. and European perspective.
Our panel of speakers included:
- Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ben Hodges – Former Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe & Pershing Chair, CEPA (Moderator)
- Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Carsten Jacobsen – Former Deputy Commanding General, German Army
- Gen. Patrick Donahoe – Commanding General, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence
- Lt. Col. Jeff Higgins – eFP Battle Group Commander, U.S. Army Europe
Interoperability and enduring readiness emerged as key themes to deterrence, and independent manoeuvre support was discussed as a supporting factor to enable allied forces to move to places of their choosing quickly. With current doctrine outlining a need to ‘March Divided and Fight United’, it is acknowledged that engineering assets are highly valuable but unable to be omnipresent when forces are dispersed. The panel discussed a need to get some engineering capability into the hands of combat forces without affecting their core mission to ensure momentum and freedom of manoeuvre.
The panel also discussed interoperability in the context of capability development, bringing nations and industry closer together to discuss real requirements to get innovative products that meet a real need into the hands of end-users more quickly, ultimately supporting operational readiness and providing a real battlefield advantage.
We would like to thank the panellists for joining us and sharing their views as part of International Armoured Vehicle’s mobility stream.
To find out more about the products we are developing to provide independent manoeuvre support to fighting forces, please visit Threat-Sense and Threat-Pathway on our website. To find out more about the collaborative approach that we champion, please click here