Defence and training support company, MASS, has supported UK MOD staff and their French counterparts to successfully complete Exercise GRIFFIN BLAZE / BLAST which rehearsed the strategic and operational levels of command for the Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF).
In November 2010, the Lancaster House Treaties were signed by the UK and France to represent a significant strengthening in the defence and security relationship between the two countries. CJEF is the flagship project within the agreement and consists of forces operating side by side while responding to a wide range of scenarios.
Exercise GRIFFIN BLAZE was a MOD level strategic planning event that produced orders issued to the combined CJEF Operational HQ which formed in Northwood for an operational planning event, Exercise GRIFFIN BLAST. The exercise was a demonstration of the close working partnership created between the military staffs of France and the United Kingdom over the past 10 years as our two countries work towards completion of Full Operating Capability (FOC) for the CJEF in June 2020.
While there have been many CJEF exercises at operational and tactical levels over the years, this is an example of an exercise at the Political/Military strategic level. The seriousness and reality of the exercise is key to ensure the Force can be ready for complex and tough decisions in the real world. As a result, new and different disciplines were exploited by the Exercise planning team, including policy, legal advice and logistics, to achieve the training objectives.
This was the first cross governmental departmental exercise involving UK MOD and their French equivalents conducted by CJEF simulating involvement from the Cabinet Offices and OGDs, and MASS constructed the complex scenario. In constructing the scenario and facilitating the exercise as a whole, MASS provided intelligence support, observers, enabled the Real-Life Support and provided UK and French former senior military and civilian policy makers to replicate the functions of their respective governments.
Colonel Ratcliffe, Assistant Head Joint Force Training, stated “Once again MASS has supported Joint Warfare’s exercise delivery in a new and complex area of training by creating a realistic and challenging scenario and bringing this to life through the experts that they were able to bring to bear. We look forward to continuing our positive partnering relationship with MASS in the future.”
MASS Managing Director Chris Stanley commented, “Exercises like Griffin Blaze/Blast are paramount to the UK-French relationship and build on the important milestones created by the Lancaster Treaty over the last 10 years. I am incredibly proud of the MASS team playing an integral part in supporting the CJEF exercises and we will continue to support them in the future.”