U.S. European Command begins Exercise Austere Challenge

U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) begins Austere Challenge 2019 (AC19) today, a U.S.-led, computer-based, command post exercise. USEUCOM is partnering with the United Kingdom and military personnel from 15 other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to execute AC19 March 13-26 at multiple locations across the USEUCOM area of operations. Approximately 4,500 personnel will participate in the exercise.

Exercise AC19 is part of a series of training events that have been planned and executed since the 1990s intended to exercise combatant command coordination, command and control, and integration of capabilities and functions of the U.S. European Command headquarters, its component commands, interagencies across the U.S. Government, and with NATO allies. The exercise is linked globally to other international exercises, including U.S. Strategic Command’s Exercise Global Lightning 2019, U.S. Cyber Command’s Exercise Cyber Lightning 2019, U.S. Northern Command’s Exercise Vigilant Shield 2019, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Exercise Positive Response 2019 and the U.K.’s Exercise Joint Venture 2019.

AC19 contributes to USEUCOM’s commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships across Europe, while training together with counterparts to enhance warfighting readiness.


U.S. European Command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands whose area of focus spans across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The command is comprised of more than 60,000 military and civilian personnel and is responsible for U.S. defense operations, relations with NATO and 51 countries. For more information about U.S. European Command, visit https://www.eucom.mil/

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