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EAG Supports NATO Coherent Resilience Tabletop Exercises Ukraine and Lithuania

Larry Walzer, Faculty Associate-Research, Energy Academic Group

From 13–17 September 2021, the Energy Academic Group (EAG) supported the NATO Coherent Resilience 20 (CORE 20) Tabletop Exercise (TTX) on hybrid threats and energy security in the Black Sea Region that was hosted at the Odesa Port Authority in Ukraine. The exercise focused on the Black Sea region to further capabilities of Ukrainian national and local authorities in crisis response and in enhancing resilience in light of hybrid threats to critical infrastructure and energy systems through effective inter-agency coordination, civil-military coordination, planning, preparedness and public-private cooperation. The TTX was sponsored by the NATO HQ and the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence. Over 150 participants from 15 countries took part in CORE20.

The EAG also provided the Evaluation Groups for NATO's Coherent Resilience 21 Baltic (CORE 21B) TTX was conducted 20-24 September 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania that focused on the resiliency of the Baltic States consumers’ (civilian and military) electricity supply against hybrid attacks during the planning, integration and synchronization of the electricity infrastructure into Continental Europe’s electricity grid. The purpose was to exercise and evaluate the effectiveness of plans, policies, and procedures used to mitigate disruptions in case of unforeseen hybrid attacks or natural disasters. CORE 21B was also sponsored by the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, as well as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The TTX had over 100 participants representing 35 organizations from 12 countries.

To establish the two CORE Evaluation Groups, EAG leveraged the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Combating Hybrid Threats to include faculty and students from cyber security and information warfare programs. The team also developed a support agreement with the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory that enabled electrical grid and critical infrastructure crisis response experts to join the initiative. Further, the Office of Naval Research provided ten Reserve officers to support the exercise evaluation teams. Finally, the Evaluation Group was rounded out with representatives from NATO SHAPE Infrastructure & Engineering Division and JFC Brunssum’s JENG Intel Section.

The EAG’s continued support to the CORE TTX series further strengthens our NATO alliance and support to partners during the current era of Great Power Competition, where Russia seeks to divide the NATO alliance, disrupt the international order, and expand its own sphere of influence.

There is planning underway to execute a national level CORE TTX in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2022 as well as a regional CORE TTX in Versailles, France where allies will assess aspects of the Central European Pipeline System.

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