By Humphrey Carter
A NATO army of 100.000 virtual troops are involved in the Spanish military training exercise currently taking place in Majorca.
Operation Hirex-03, primarily organised to demonstrate just how quickly Spain's NATO forces can respond and deploy to an incident, commenced yesterday with the arrival of the first wave of troops and military hardware by air and sea in Majorca. The operation is being co-ordinated by the General Headquarters of Spain's NATO rapid reaction ground force in Valencia and 2.085 troops will be physically involved in the simulated exercise which will also involve virtual reality NATO forces, objectives and targets. This exercise is one of the most technologically advanced to have been staged in Spain and the operation will be co-ordinated by central command at the General Asensio barracks in Palma. Son San Joan air force base will be used as the reserve command post with Porto Pi naval base and Cabo Blanco the tactical command centres.
It will however, take Spain's rapid reaction force until October 27 to have fully deployed all its troops and hardware in Majorca, but another aim of the exercise is to prepare the troops for responding quickly to future incidents a long way from Spain. Hence a large amount of military hardware and logistical support is involved in this operation.
Once all the force is operational, the exercise will actually be carried out by simulator and involve a coalition force of between 60'000 and 100.000 NATO troops on a state of emergency in Argos. Argos is a fictitious province belonging to Blueland, a prosperous and developing country with the politically and economically volatile countries of Orangeland and Redland as her neighbours. Argos is in a state of emergency after Orangeland launched an attack, condemned by the United Nations, on Blueland earlier this year in an attempt to gain control of the province of Argos. In response Blueland called on the international community for allied help and Operation Hirex-03 has swung into action.
The Operation is due to have concluded by October 27, which is when the first wave of troops and hardware will start shipping out of Majorca, back to their base in Valencia.

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