Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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CIOR CIMIC exercise (CIMEX 13) Vyskov, Czech Republic

For the second year, the CIOR CIMIC Committee organised a CIMEX (CIMIC exercise) prior to the CIOR main Summer Congress in Brno. The CIMEX was hosted by the Czech Republic at a military academy in Vyskov, 35 kms from Brno. The UK Military Stabilisation Support Group (MSSG) organised the CIMEX programme and speakers, and the Czech military provided all of the facilities.

The CIMEX took place over the period 25 to 29 July. Similar to last year, it consisted of two parts: the first was a series of presentations; the second was a desktop exercise during which the participants were put into multi-national syndicates, then given a task for which they had to come up with a solution, which was then back- briefed to a group of senior officers.

38 participants and speakers from 11 countries, took part in CIMEX.

The presentation period covered a number of topics including: Disaster Relief Operations, Humanitarian Operations, Peace Support Operations, Demobilisation Disarmament & Reintegration, DPRE Camp Planning, Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations, introduction to International Organisations (IOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and other topics. These presentations were delivered by subject matter experts from the UK MSSG team, Canadian CIMIC, US Civil Affairs, the CIMIC Centre of Excellence (CCOE), and an independent expert.

The desktop exercise was based on a Humanitarian Operations scenario in an African country. Participants were required to use their own experience and what they had learned during the presentation session, to come up with a plan to deal with a complex Humanitarian issue, which had a number of military and civilian factors built in. Throughout the desktop exercise, a Czech military combat camera team posed as journalists and interviewed and filmed syndicate representatives, who had to respond to questions from the press. This was a valuable piece of role playing, which allowed everyone to get some experience of the challenges in dealing with the press on operations.

The CIMEX managed to stand down from the exercise for a half day; this allowed all personnel to take part in a battlefield tour of the Battle of Austerlitz (Napoleon’s victory over Russia and Austria in 1805).

With the increasing need to consider all factors and stakeholders in addition to the military, in conflict situations, CIMIC continues to be a focus for Defence Policy in most countries. In fact a number of countries are increasing and refining their capability in this area. Additionally, in recognition that part of the solution to tomorrow’s conflict is to focus on up-stream prevention (ie. solve a problem before it happens), there is a need to employ a whole new range of civilian related skills. Many of these skills already exist amongst the international Reserves. This is why the Reserves can play a significant role in CIMIC, in support of the Regular forces. The CIOR CIMIC Committee acknowledges this, which is why CIMEX was designed. The overriding objectives of CIMEX are to encourage liaison, information sharing and to promote best practice, within the international CIMIC community. From this year’s CIMEX, the consensus was that these objectives were satisfied; most participants stated that they had learned something, and had a better understanding of how other nations worked in the area of CIMIC, and would be better prepared for any future international exercises or operations.

The current chairman of the CIOR CIMIC Committee and a member of the UK Military Stabilisation Support Group (MSSG) is Lt Col Peter Carroll; he along with Maj Mike Whatley also from UK MSSG, are responsible for the planning and delivery of CIMEX. They will now take the lessons learned from this year in Vyskov, in order to improve next year’s CIMEX in Germany.

Planning is already underway for CIMEX 14. Subject to confirmation, the location will be at the German Infantry School in Hammelburg, 65 kms from Fulda. Fulda will be the location for the main CIOR Summer Congress. The planned dates for CIMEX are 31 July to 4 Aug. Lt Col Carroll has stated that he would like to increase the number of participants, and the number of countries taking part.

The CIMIC Committee will engage in further CIMEX planning during the CIOR Midwinter Meeting in Brussels in Jan 2014.

The UK has committed to acting as the framework nation for the planning and delivery of CIMEX, for a period of three years. CIMEX 14 will be the third year. The CIOR CIMIC Committee is now tasked to identify another country to take over from the UK.

Photos Released by CIOR/Henry Plimack (USA)

© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers