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USJFCOM Bringing Together Multiple Agencies For Multinational Experiment 5

Current participants in U.S. Joint Forces Command's (USJFCOM) Multinational Experiment 5 (MNE 5) include Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and NATO's Allied Command Transformation. Also participating will be governmental organizations (such as the U.S. Department of State) and non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, from the United States and multinational partners.
By Fred J. Klinkenberger, Jr.
Joint Innovation and Experimentation Directorate
Suffolk VA (SPX) Jan 10, 2007
U.S. Joint Forces Command's (USJFCOM) Multinational Experiment 5 (MNE 5) is bringing together a series of events that spans not only participating militaries, but also governmental and non-governmental agencies from around the globe to examine how to share knowledge to establish common policy and procedures for fully integrated, joint international interagency operations in troubled countries suffering instability or natural disasters according to experiment planners.

MNE 5 grew from 2006's Multinational Experiment 4, which brought together eight nations and NATO and incorporated several governmental agencies from participating nations. During MNE 4, these agencies from each country created a series of interagency communities which provided valuable lessons-learned leading to effective burden-sharing among NATO members deployed to troubled regions.

When MNE 5 began in September 2006, organizers from the participating countries identified 11 major challenges and 65 issues for the experiment to address. The solutions to these will be sought during the experiment, which is scheduled for completion in 2009.

U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Dillingham, the experiment's director, points out combat operations are not a part of this experiment. "What we really want to focus on are the processes, procedures and organizational-type of design that civilians need in order to facilitate stability." he explained. "The military will be a very small component of the experiment as we currently envision it."

The MNE 5 scenario is sub-Saharan Africa during 2008 - 2010 in an economically disadvantaged and politically unstable area. However, Dillingham is quick to explain the experiment in no way reflects any planned or anticipated events on the continent. It is a scenario chosen only because it offers rich, real-world data to be injected into MNE 5.

The MNE 5 series will consist of four different experiments beginning in fall 2007 and spaced about six months apart, with the fourth and culminating experiment serving as the MNE5 capstone event.

Jack Klevecz, J9's international liaison, emphasized that MNE5 will concentrate on the participating non-military organizations and agencies taking charge instead of the military.

He also explained the experiment will involve more non-military agencies and organizations that include diplomatic and other communities: governmental and non-governmental nation-building activities or international organizations like the Red Cross and the World Health Organization. "There's a desire to expand outside the defense community into the diplomatic and the developmental communities, for each individual participating nation," he said.

Klevecz reiterated the experiment's design principle. "The [MNE 5] success is dependent on active participation by the civilian interagency members and, in fact, more than just their participation, but their active leadership. That is a decided goal," he said.

According to MNE 5 planners, the experiment will seek solutions to narrow capability gaps through a comprehensive, multinational strategy for maintaining stability in disadvantaged or failing countries.

The experiment will incorporate national and foreign governments and their civilian government agencies, along with non-government and private, non-military and military organizations to set the conditions for a stable environment.

All too frequently the military, by virtue of its size and mission, inadvertently takes charge, Dillingham said. "The military is such a much larger organization... when we get involved, very frequently we're viewed as the eight-hundred-pound gorilla and we become more of the control function as opposed to the support function."

This will not be so with MNE 5 according to Dillingham.

Current participants include Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and NATO's Allied Command Transformation. Also participating will be governmental organizations (such as the U.S. Department of State) and non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, from the United States and multinational partners.

Numerous other nations also have expressed interest in MNE 5, which differs somewhat from past multinational experiments. Dillingham described that difference. "We've got civilian agencies and nongovernmental organizations [NGOs] that will participate because it's not a standard military force-on-force experiment. It's experimentation to try to enable and empower the civilian agencies relying on military support," he explained.

Each experiment has focus areas where individual participating partner nations have the lead. France leads strategic interagency multinational planning; the U.S. has logistics and medical operations, maritime domain awareness, and cooperative implementation planning and management leads.

Finland, meanwhile, will lead shared information framework and technology efforts. Germany will lead coalition information strategy and information operations and knowledge development. NATO will assume the effects-based assessment lead.

The intellectual capital and varied world views that multinational partners bring to this experiment cannot be stressed enough because, as Klevecz indicates, the U.S. simply does not have all the answers and does not bear the burden by itself.

This will probably not be the last event in the multinational series, according to Dillingham. "If it is as successful as we intend it to be it will not be the last, and it will probably continue with greater momentum," he said.

Initiating the paradigm shift from control to support in terms of the military's role in stability operations, in Dillingham's words, is "really an incredible story of the evolution, or understanding, of integrating the military's role as one of support for stability operations."

Related Links
Multinational Experiment 5 (MNE 5)
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters

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Tokyo (AFP) Jan 05, 2007
Japan and the United States are drawing up a joint contingency plan to prepare for a possible crisis in the Korean peninsula, Foreign Minister Taro Aso said on Friday. "We must consider how to protect some 20,000 Japanese residents and tens of thousands of tourists" in South Korea, Aso told reporters, without elaborating on the various scenarios being considered.

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