ACE Mobile Force (Land)


The Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (AMF) was a small NATO quick reaction force, headquartered at Heidelberg, Germany, active from 1960 to 2002. It formed part of Allied Command Europe (ACE), headquartered at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, SHAPE at Casteau, Belgium. The land component of the force, consisting of a brigade-sized formation of about 5,000 personnel, was composed of units from 14 NATO states. HQ CO US AMF(L) Infantry was at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, GE 95-02 HQ AMF (L) was at Sullivan Barracks, Mannheim, 1975-78.

ACE Mobile Force (Land)

The ACE Mobile Force-Land or AMF(L) was intended as a multinational force that could be quickly despatched to any part of ACE's command area - from North Norway, to Germany, to eastern Turkey - to demonstrate the solidarity of the alliance and its ability to resist all forms of aggression against any member state. During the Cold War the AMF-L did frequent exercises in North Norway and in other areas. The Bundeswehr responded to the request of NATO from December 9, 1960, from January 1961 to provide a paratrooper battalion, a medical company, an airborne telecommunications company, and air transport units. In October 1961 Bundeswehr units, including parts of the 1st Airborne Division (the Parachute Battalion 262) in the AMF in October 1961 in Sardinia during Exercise First Try in part, on the Belgian, British and American soldiers were also involved. In November 1965, the Parachute Battalion 262 took part in the AMF maneuver Eastern Express II on the southeast flank of NATO, which took place in Turkey under the leadership of the AMF commander Major General Michael Fitzalan-Howard (UK). In total, 3,500 soldiers from the US, UK, Belgium, Germany and Italy participated in the maneuvers. In 1967 the maneuver Sunshine Express in Greece, also with German participation. In 1970 at Narvik in northern Norway on the north flank of NATO, the AMF United maneuver Arctic Express with 4000 soldiers. It was first deployed operationally in 1991 during the Gulf War, when part of its air component was dispatched to watch the Turkish borders, in the face of a potential threat to a member's territory. The AMF(L) was one of the NATO formations deployed to Norway during Exercise Strong Resolve 1998. The AMF(L) formed the core of the Albania Force (AFOR), a NATO-led international force responsible for establishing and delivering humanitarian aid to refugees from Kosovo in Albania during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. It was led by Major General John Reith (British army officer), John Reith, Commander AMF(L). The Immediate Reaction Task Force (Land) (IRTF-L) was a novel command and control concept successfully developed and evaluated by the AMF(L) between 1999 and 2001. The IRTF(L) concept allowed the AMF(L), an existing Immediate Reaction Force multinational brigade HQ, to command a divisional sized force with minimal augmentation and no intermediate HQs. The trial concluded in December 2001. The Daily Telegraph, The Telegraph wrote that NATO had to disband the ACE Mobile Force, '..after Britain withdrew its contribution to ensure troops were available to join any US attack on Iraq. Britain's contribution to [the force] included key support troops, without which the 6,000-strong force could not operate. With no other NATO member prepared to contribute more soldiers, the alliance had no choice but to disband it.' HQ AMF(L) was disbanded on October 31, 2002 and has since been replaced by the NATO Response Force.


The ACE Mobile Force took part in a large number of exercises. *1961 ''First Try'', Sardinia *1962 ''Southern Express'', Greece *1963 Finnmark, Norway *1963 ''Summer Marmara Express'', Greece *1965 ''Eastern Express'', Turkey *1966 ''Summer Marmara Express'', Greece and Turkey *1967 ''Sunshine Express'', Greece *1968 Greece *1969 ''Olympic Express'', Turkey *1970 ''Deep Express'', Turkey *1970 ''Arctic Express'', Narvik, Norway *1971 ''Hellenic Express'', Greece *1972 ''Canadian Club'', Germany *1975 ''Deep Express'', Turkey *1975 ''Advent Express'', Great Britain *1976 ''Halina Express'', Great Britain *1977 ''Schwarzer Husar'', Great Britain *1980 ''Anorak Express'', Norway *1980 ''Ardent Ground'', Great Britain *1981 ''Amber Express'', Denmark *1981 ''Ardent Ground'', Portugal *1982 ''Ardent Ground'', Portugal *1983 ''Ardent Ground'', Belgium *1984 ''Ardent Ground'', Great Britain *1985 ''Archway Express'', Turkey *1986 ''Ardent Ground'', Belgium *1987 ''Ardent Ground'', Great Britain. Members of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force from Belgium, the Netherlands, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in the live artillery/air exercise ARDENT GROUND '87 at Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire. *1987 ''Accord Express'', Denmark *1987 ''Aurora Express'', Turkey *1988 ''Arrowhead Express'', Norway *1988 ''Alley Express'', Turkey *1989 ''Ardent Ground'', Italy *1989 ''Armanda Exchange'', Pavia di Udine and Paularo, Italy *1989 ''Action Express'', Denmark *1990 ''Array Encounter 90'', Norway *1991 ''Alley Express'', Denmark *1992 ''Ardent Ground'', Otterburn, Northumberland, Great Britain *1992 ''Alley Express'', Turkey *1993 ''Arena Exchange'', Umbria, Italy *1993 ''Action Express'', Denmark *1993 ''Ardent Ground'', Belgium *1994 ''Arctic Express'', Bardudoss, Norway *1994 ''Ardent Ground'', Baumholder, Germany *1994 ''Arrow Exchange'', Gaziantep, Turkey *1995 ''Strong Resolve'', Trondheim, Norway *1995 ''Arctic Express'', Norway *1996 ''Cooperative Adventure Express'', Belgium *1997 ''Adventure Express'', Norway *1997 ''Ardent Ground'', Turkey *1998 Cooperative Adventure Exchange, Slovenia *1998 ''Strong Resolve'', Norway *1998 ''Strong Resolve'', Portugal *1999 Adventure Exchange, Italy *2000 ''Joint Winter'', Norway *2000 Ardent Ground, Hungary *2000 Adventure Exchange, Greece *2001 ''Adventure Exchange'', Turkey *2002 ''Cooperative Adventure Exchange'', Ukraine


*NATO Handbook, 50th Anniversary Edition, 1998–99, p. 253, 255
NATO website describing AFOR

Further reading

*Lieutenant Colonel Calvin H. Creasy, A perspective of the ACE mobile force, ''Military Review'', November 1975

at *Maloney, Sean (2004) 'Fire Brigade or Tocsin? NATO's ACE Mobile Force, Flexible Response and the Cold War', Journal of Strategic Studies, 27:4, pp. 585–613 {{Authority control Formations of the NATO Military Command Structure Military units and formations established in 1960 Military units and formations disestablished in 2002