Page 39 - Cormorant 2019
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  The city is
famed for its 5am Sunday Fish
Market which we had the opportunity to explore. ◆◆◆
 After the opening ‘Chilli and Bitburger’ reception
we were split into four syndicates each led by a representative from one of the attending nations. The teams were formed from a full range of national, single Service and staff-branch individuals, with
the result being a number of genuinely diverse
teams that enabled us to assess the situation and commence the planning process. The exercise focused on a large-scale stability operation within a complex scenario that featured a number of political, humanitarian and security aspects. These were tackled from the perspective of an Interim European Union Monitoring Force buying time for a follow-on United Nations Stabilisation Mission. The senior mentorship from recently retired 2/3* officers was
a real opportunity to learn from experience and implement our planning in the fictional region of Altea.
Culturally, the Führungsakademie is seated in a fantastic location, 5km west of Hamburg and nestled close to the River Elbe. The city is famed for its 5am Sunday Fish Market which we had the opportunity to explore. We were also treated to a comprehensively narrated ferry tour by our guide Klute, during which we had the time to admire a dramatic riverside skyline. Midway through the exercise we were hosted in the Hamburg Town Hall with a number of local dignitaries; unsurprisingly Brexit and consideration
of the future UK-German bilateral relationship was
a focal point for discussion. On completion of the exercise we were invited to a traditional dinner in the college Officers’ Mess, with a number of speeches on the importance of defence partnerships and collaboration between European militaries.
The Social highlight was a trip to the Reeperbahn,
a mile-long boulevard with a variety of salubrious establishments. This provided a real opportunity
to absorb the community-vibe, relax and indulge
in some impressive (some would argue tone-deaf) karaoke. A number of us had the chance to witness the local ritual of a ‘dancing fruit display’. For those who made it to the Hofbräu Haus and indulged in the pork knuckle platter, literally what it says, the sheer quantity of meat consumed suppressed appetites for much of the remainder of the exercise.
Reflecting on our brief time in Hamburg, CJEX will be remembered as a course highlight and a fantastic opportunity to practice our profession in a diverse, combined, joint and interagency setting. Thank you to all the staff who made the experience as valuable as possible, and in particular to the senior mentors who guided (and occasionally counselled) the
Joint Operational Planning Teams. As our German colleagues would say, Gute Ubung!

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