Nothing like the recently concluded exercise Tractable has been organized by the British Army since the 1980s, Commander of the British Field Army Lt. Gen. Ivan Jones told ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera after inspecting the results of the exercise in Estonia.
Tractable moved approximately 800 troops and 200 pieces of equipment to Estonia via sea, land and air, including via Estonia’s largest ever para drop on Friday.
Jones said that a movement of troops of this size hasn’t been done in a long time.
“Tractable was not business as usual; it was a very different exercise from the sort of exercise we’ve done before,” he said. “We moved up to Norway last year, but probably not since the early 80s have we done something of this scale.”
Jones found Estonia’s infrastructure to be in good shape. He has been in Estonia before, and approved of the country’s ports and roads.
What proved time-intensive was reloading on the Polish-Lithuanian border due to the change in track width, but everything in Estonia went smoothly.
Tractable was a peacetime exercise; in a crisis situation, allied troops would need to fight to establish dominance both on rails and on asphalt.
“It would need to be orchestrated on a much higher level than that which we’ve orchestrated here, which is the U.K. docking into NATO,” Jones explained. “This would need to see NATO Command and Control through various national headquarters to enable the move to happen. So it requires that higher level of orchestration of all the troops moving in.”
On top of that, in a crisis situation, the enemy would do everything it could to stop troops from being brought in, he added.
Planning for Tractable spanned an entire year. The actual movement of troops took ten days, which, considering the scope of the operation, can be considered a positive result.