HQ Allied Rapid reaction Corps on the Move

Vehicle convoys have been conducted around Latvia and Lithuania to bring the masses of equipment and vehicles to their final destinations for the exercise. The convoy destined for Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, arrived late in the afternoon as onlookers stared bemused.

This deployment marks the first time HQ ARRC has conducted their annual exercise, named ARRCADE FUSION 2015 (AF 15), in the Baltics with participation and elements in all 3 nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

“From the logistic point of view it is an excellent opportunity to test the strategic deployment of our personnel and material”, said Brigadier Torsten Gersdorf, commander of Enabling Command ARRC.

About 350 logistics vehicles and more than 150 containers of equipment left the ship MV EDDYSTONE and departed in convoys driven by 14 Transport Squadron and elements of 27 Regiment RLC to the various exercise locations in Lithuania and Latvia. This non-tactical movement signifies the start of this year’s AF 15 from a support perspective.

This exercise tests the headquarters’ ability to control simulated troop formations within a challenging and dynamic fictional scenarios. The scenario planned for AF 15 provides exercise evaluators with the ability to merge realistic global security threats into one environment to challenge and test the ability of headquarters personnel to devise innovative and pragmatic solutions. This is made all the more challenging, as they will be deploying in the middle of a Baltic winter in tents and field conditions.

In this image: The convoy drives through the streets supported by Lithuanian Military Police.


What struck me about this image was the FEPS generators being carried on the load bed of the DROPS trucks.

This is what happens when you have your towed field generators provided under a PFI that can’t be towed by in service vehicles.

All the disadvantages of towed equipment combined with an inability to be towed.

You think I am making this up don’t you!

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October 17, 2015 1:44 am

The FEPS generators apparently have ‘stealth like qualities’
“The Field Electrical Power Supplies (FEPS) contract comprises the design, development, supply, maintenance, management and finance of a fleet of 1,300 trailer-mounted field mobile generator sets to the British Army for a 15-year service period.”
But Rolls Royce thinks its all good.
“Our analysis shows that using the PFI achieved savings of about 5%, compared with the costs of a traditional procurement.”
Some units were designed to be lifted onto a flat bed truck “instead of being towed”
Back then they were Vickers Specialist Engines a division of Rolls Royce but then became “Powerfield ” and then again Power Sytems which is the overall name now that Rolls Royce bought out MTU Friedrichshafen. This business was established by Wilheim Maybach and his son Karl and built engines for Zeppelins and then german tanks. How the worm turns!

October 17, 2015 8:43 am

It could be that simply to increase shipping space they put them on the back of the DROPS for the journey coming over. I know there is a modification available so you can drop the tow hook on the SV fleet so you can tow FEPS.

October 18, 2015 9:05 am


If you wanted to reduce shipping space, wouldn’t the answer be to tow the FEPS behind the SV’s? That way you could remove the requirement for the the 3 DROPS and if we had a trailer for the JCB the 4th DROPS could have been left behind. Or had the stores carried by the SV’s carried in an ISO by the DROPS which could then tow the FEPS and JCB? either way the inability to tow FEPS has added to the logistical requirement by the looks of this picture.

October 18, 2015 3:34 pm
Reply to  duker

“Our analysis”. Translation: “We haven’t tested this claim. We base our claim on a computer model, the inputs and rules for which we can’t share with you”.

I think Parliament made it a legal requirement back in 1991 that any defence waffle had to include at least one reference to “stealth”, or to “world class capabilities”. So, they ticked that box.

At least they haven’t done the usual thing of telling us how long the generators are when measured in London busses, or how tall they are when measured in that well-known SI unit, the Nelson’s Column. If I see those terms in another press release from a UK buckets-with-holes-in-them (TM) manufacturer, I’ll scream.

October 18, 2015 4:05 pm

TD: FYI, Lord Bach (who approved the FEPS PFI, as you know) approved the £2.5 billion Skynet 5 agreement in 2003, for which SERCO was a major beneficiary. (http://www.wired-gov.net/wg/wg-news-1.nsf/54e6de9e0c383719802572b9005141ed/15bb47218c1489b9802572ab004b8838?OpenDocument)

Bach also gave SERCO Aerospace a 2003 contract for RAF engineering (and other) support. (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2003-07-16a.126.3&s=serco+speaker%3A13526#g126.5)

The MoD’s chief scientific adviser Professor Sir Keith O’Nions was on the board of SERCO, too, in 2008. (https://www.caat.org.uk/issues/influence/revolving-door-archive)

Lord Bach has made good money from the defence industry. He was on the board at Finemannica UK, for example.

FYI, SERCO runs my local GP out-of-hours contract. They never turn up. It’s one on-call doctor for two counties (yes, two) working from a hospital, who refuses point blank to make housecalls. For anything. And yes, deaths have resulted from this refusal to make housecalls. In my mind, SERCO has blood in its hands.

October 19, 2015 12:54 am
Reply to  Bentham

Disappointing analysis Sir. I thought all military units of size and volume were now measured in Aircraft Carriers – or parts thereof…..

October 19, 2015 10:25 am
Reply to  Allan

” I thought all military units of size and volume were now measured in Aircraft Carriers – or parts thereof…..”

As in “the army’s new L115 sniper rifle fires a .308 magnum round. Thirty-one thousand, three hundred and ninety-five of those rounds, edge to edge, would be as long as an aircraft carrier!”

October 20, 2015 9:07 pm
Reply to  a


That is top notch! :)

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 22, 2015 2:41 pm

The relevant question is whether the wheels were ever intended for transport, or just for handiness at point of use.

A trailer like that with a high mounted engine has stability issues when towed. On the other hand, a big engine sat on a pair of wheels is a lot less of a faff to move about than one with only lifting eyes and fork slots once the loggies have dropped it off.