Items selected for printing

II. NATO organization and other military actorsselected for printing

2.5. CIMIC and non NATO military organizationsselected for printing

European Union (EU) forces

EU battlegroups (EU BG) are multinational, military units, designed to be a “political instrument” for the EU to promptly (initial forces in theatre within 10 days) demonstrate determination and presence, thereby accepting capability gaps and limited operational effectiveness.

An EU BG package comprises the EU BG, the force headquarters ((F)HQ)20 and assigned operational and strategic enablers. The EU BG has a strength of 1,500 to 3,500 troops. Its core is composed of an infantry battalion (3 to 5 infantry companies) and the combat service support and combat support elements, which includes a CIMIC unit, and a medical task force directly supporting the infantry forces (see figure below). The (F)HQ can be composed as shown in the picture, an example for the staff element J/X9/civil-military interaction is depicted in the picture below.

The structure and composition is depending on the framework nation, numbers of troop contributing nations and the composition of the core BG. Even if the operations headquarters (OHQ) is not part of the BG package the CJ9 division of an OHQ for an EU BG operation is depicted below.

The deployment period of the EU BG can be extended to up to 120 days by increasing logistic sustainability.

The complexity of contemporary conflicts and crises requires a comprehensive approach which addresses the multiple levels and dimensions on which they evolve. The EU has a unique mix of instruments to tackle such complex challenges more effectively.

There is a genuine European way to resolving external conflicts and crises. It is made of civilian and military means, hard and soft power, strategic autonomy and cooperation with our partners, and includes promoting human rights and good governance, entails investing in strong societies, in education and development, and ensuring security and stability.

Just as today's security challenges cannot be faced with military means alone, there are situations which cannot be resolved by only relying on humanitarian and development aid or diplomacy. There are situations in which a quick and decisive military reaction is necessary to save lives and prevent protracted conflicts and violence. This is where the EU Battlegroups come in.

Battlegroups are employable across the full range of tasks.

These include:

conflict prevention

initial stabilization

humanitarian interventions and rescue tasks

crisis management


Deployment of EU BGs always requires a unanimous decision of the Council and would generally require an authorizing UN Security Council Resolution.

CIMIC units are an integral part of the EU BG. Their tasks are to establish and maintain a CIMIC liaison organization, to gain the necessary information for the current civil situation picture, to establish CIMIC centers and to assist in synchronizing EU BG with UN- and EU-operations / activities.

Besides the principles for an EU BG operation it is generally envisaged that a major EU-led military operation will be multinational in nature (combined) and with command structures able to command and control operations in which elements of more than one service participate (joint). Therefore, EU OHQ and EU FHQ for an EU-led military operation should be both combined and joint.

The EU HQ Manning Guide provides the general principles and procedures for the designation, structure, composition and augmentation of EU HQs, which apply generically at the Military Strategic level and the Operational level and also for CMI/CIMIC staff elements. It is a tool box for the operational commander (OpCdr) or the force commander (FCdr) to design the HQ taking in account all relevant conditions for the future mission (air-, land-, sea-based, FHQ off shore or land-based etc.).

UN forces

United Nations military personnel are the "Blue Helmets" on the ground. They consist of military personnel contributed by national armies from across the globe.

UN Forces work alongside UN Police and civilian colleagues to promote stability, security, and peace processes; they protect personnel and property; work with local communities, and security forces promote lasting peace.

In many missions, protection of civilians is now usually a specified priority within a mandate. Blue Helmets are protecting populations against threats and contributing to a secure environment.

Global contribution for global peace

All military personnel working under the Blue Helmet are first and foremost members of their own national armies and are then seconded to work under the command and control of the UN.

They have more than 100,000 UN uniformed personnel coming from over 120 countries. They come from nations large and small, rich and poor. They bring different cultures and experience to the job, but they are united in their determination to foster peace. Currently the majority of troops come from African and Asian countries while the contribution of western countries is increasing.

What UN military personnel do

UN military personnel can be called upon to:

- Protect civilians and UN personnel;

- Monitor a disputed border;

- Monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas

- Provide security across a conflict zone;

- Provide security during elections;

- Assist in-country military personnel with training and support

- Assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements; they may have signed.

One of the biggest changes UN Peacekeeping has seen over the 70 years of its existence has been the increasingly multi-dimensional nature of UN peacekeeping operations. UN military peacekeepers are often deployed in inhospitable, remote and dangerous environments where they face an unprecedented scale of challenges especially when protecting civilians, under asymmetric threats.

Deploying UN Forces

The UN can only deploy military personnel when there is a UN Security Council resolution authorizing them to do so. The Security Council will say how many military personnel are required, and UN Headquarters will liaise with the Member States to identify personnel and deploy them. This can take time – often more than six months from the date of the resolution to get boots and equipment on the ground.

With these limitations in mind, since 2015 the UN has been working with Member States to develop a new arrangement called the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS). Through the PCRS, Member States can pledge to have specific units available for UN Peacekeeping. Far in advance of a possible deployment, the UN Secretariat will perform an assessment of the readiness of the personnel, training, and equipment of those units. Select units can also be pledged to the Rapid Deployment Level of the PCRS and will be made available within 60 days of a request from the UN Secretary-General. When fully operational at the start of 2018, this system should help reduce the deployment timelines of military forces for future mission start-ups.

The deployment of female peacekeepers to peace operations significantly contributes to achieving sustainable peace and the improved wellbeing of women and girls in conflict-affected regions.

Security Council Resolution 1325 urges equal participation of women at all sectors of peacekeeping operations, including the military. This is also reinforced in the policy on gender equality by the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support and the guidelines for integrating gender perspective into the works of the UN Military (2010).

Role of female soldiers within UN Forces

Female soldiers perform in many functions and capacities, from command to frontline roles, while bringing an added value to military operations. Female soldiers provide an invaluable perspective in planning operations and in making key decisions, especially those affecting civilians, particularly women and girls. This is an operational imperative for a mission as it provides a holistic approach to meet its mandate in today’s complex and evolving peacekeeping environment.

Female soldiers' visibility can empower women and girls and increase women’s participation in the security sector.

Some unique tactical skills female military personnel bring to this field include screening of female civilians and conducting of house searches in areas where it is not culturally appropriate for men to enter private spaces. Local populations in host countries often feel more comfortable liaising and sharing information with military troops that include women alongside men. By obtaining better information, we can better protect these communities.

Blue Helmets Performance Standards

To implement their mandated tasks, the troops need to prepare adequately, starting sometimes far before deployment. This preparation covers every aspect of UN Peacekeeping such as ensuring the availability of the necessary and proper equipment. It is also critical that peacekeepers are properly trained, to name a few, in Protection of Civilians, the use of force, and the Rules of Engagement. Also, a thorough understanding of conduct and discipline is a key training requirement.

Policies on readiness, performance, command and control.

- Protection of Civilians (POC) Implementing Guidelines for military component in peacekeeping missions  (February 2015) provide clear objective for military component when it comes to POC.

- Rules of Engagement: This document provides authority for the use of force and explains policy, principles, procedures and responsibilities relating to the use of force. For each mission, specific rules of engagement are drafted.

- UN troops in the field are required to implement their mandate with utmost professionalism, dedication and dignity, often at significant personal sacrifice. Unfortunately, Blue Helmets have been accused of acts of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse. These reprehensible acts are an affront to the values of protection that UN Peacekeeping upholds. All acts of misconduct are unacceptable and forbidden. See also UN Code of Conduct.

Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System

The UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS) aims to establish a more predictable and dynamic process of interaction between the UN Headquarters and Member States for strengthening readiness and timely deployment of peacekeeping capabilities with the right qualities.

There are four levels of readiness in PCRS:

-Level 1: A Troop Contributing Country makes a formal pledge for a unit and provides the list of major and self-sustainment equipment and certification of completion of basic training and human rights screening. Member States are encouraged to include the time frame of availability and duration of deployment for each pledged capability.

-Level 2: Based on the UN operational requirements, pledges at Level 1 can be elevated to Level 2 after an assessment and advisory visit has been conducted by a UN Headquarters team.

-Level 3: Following a satisfactory assessment, units which have achieved a reasonable degree of preparedness are elevated to Level 3.

-Rapid Deployment Level (RDL): Having reached Level 3, the Troop Contributing Country may pledge to deploy within 60 days following a request made by the UN Headquarters.

  • 20

    (F)HQ – “F” in Brackets – a (F)HQ is a “small” Force Headquarters for a BG operation. FHQ is a Force Headquarters for major joint operations.