EXERCISE “BLUE NAIL”
FEBRUARY 23 – 25, 2024
The primary purpose of the exercise is to train and verify field skills as well as a variety of soldiering skills, including: first aid, orienteering, shooting, obstacle crossing, etc.
The exercise provides the well-educated and trained soldier the opportunity to be tested in an challenging environment with tasks that require both physical endurance and resilience beyond what is normal for a Home Guard soldier.
Secondary purpose is to train the units and subunits in exercise planning, exercise management, order issuing, observation duty, guard duty, logistical support, signals + information and media service.
All functional levels from private soldier to district staff are practised.
The length of the exercise route and the tasks included in the exercise are designed with the goal in mind that only the few best soldiers can complete the entire exercise. It is expected that only a few walkers can complete the exercise in its full length.
The aim of the exercise for walkers is to develop the soldiers’ knowledge and skills as infantry/patrol soldiers.
The goal for exercise management, staff and hunter force is to train and maintain skills within their own function. In addition, there will be an opportunity to train and practise the individual in other functions – should the individual want to see how other functions work.
For soldiers who participate as walkers, there will be a tests at each individual post and the walkers will be overall assessed within the following categories: “abandoned, participated or fulfilled”.
Hunterforce and all staff functions are continuously evaluated during the exercise.
The full exercise will subsequently be evaluated at district level.
The exercise’s safety regulations will be communicated before the start of the exercise to all participants:
- Physical combat and fist fights are not allowed or accepted
- safety glasses must be worn throughout the exercise
- in case of personal injury, contact Command post (CP)
- In the event of an emergency, call 112. Subsequently, contact CP
- No personnel are allowed to leave the exercise without prior permission from CP.
The three elements in BN24 are:
Walkers will have to:
- As a Patrol navigate in the dark, in enemy territory.
- Shooting, cooperative tasks, first aid, marching and other forms of soldiering skills.
Hunterforce are to:
- Patrol, on foot and in vehicles
- Order issuing/receiving
- Practise general field training and stay in assembly area ● Establishment of observation lines and observation posts ● Orienteering.
- Guard duty
- Setup CP and training posts for the exercise
- Order issuing/receiving
- Planning, management and control of a large exercise
- Management of posts and exercise flow
- Logistics service
- Umpire duty
The event is aimed at Home Guard soldiers and soldiers from the regular Danish defence force.
The exercise allows foreign units to participate at a limited extent. BN24 demands both academically, physically and mentally endurance from the individual soldier.
Blue Nail is so demanding that only well-trained soldiers in good shape can complete the exercise. This means that you have to train both your soldiering skills and your physique in order to complete. The route will be approx. 45 km measured on a map (much longer on foot).
BN24 overall walker ruleset:
- You will manoeuvre in unfamiliar terrain and have to cover long distances on foot to fulfil your mission
- The exercise takes place in an enemy controlled area and the enemy will attempt to capture you throughout the exercise.
- There will be up to 20 checkpoints (posts) where different tasks must be completed. The fulfilment of these tasks counts as essential for scoring high in the exercise.
- Formation is either as 2-person team or as 6-person team
- you manoeuvre in the dark and “sleep” in daylight (if there is time and if you are not spotted by Hunterforce)
- There are prizes for best 2-person team and best 6-person team.
What you are to bring:
- motivation and courage
- health insurance certificate
- Combat uniform, headwear (helmet not required) and boots
- backpack, minimum weight 10 kg, webbing, TYR or other carryingsystem.
- safety glasses must be worn throughout the exercise
- military ID card
- Pack and be prepared to pass water obstacles.
What you are allowed to bring:
- light amplifying equipment.
- prescription medicine. Information on this must be told to CP prior to exercise start.
You are not allowed to bring:
- GPS equipment
- Thermal imaging equipment
Recommended equipment to bring and other hints:
- Sleeping bag, bivi-bag or similar
- Packable stove, Jetboil or similar
- extra socks, underwear. Denmark is cold and wet
- compass with bearing reading capability
- All equipment brought along is at your own risk and expense.
- Remember: Everything you bring must be carried by yourself.
Pack light, but you must be a functional soldier at all times.
Rules for walkers on BN24:
- 2-man teams can only complete the exercise if both soldiers stay together.
- 6-person teams can only complete the exercise if minimum 5 soldiers stay together.
- in case of injury or giving up. Report at the nearest post and await further orders.
- A patrol envelope is issued to each team, you must carry this at all times.
- Only a minimum of ammunition and food will be handed to you before exercise starts.
- Rules of Engagement (RoE) will be explained and handed out on arrival at BN24.
RoE must be obeyed at all times. The team will be withdrawn from BN24 in case of violation.
- Hunterforce must not detain the team. A capture must take a maximum of 5 minutes
- A complaint about capture must be reported to the Post Commander at the following post.
- Safezones are around all posts, allowing you to get to and from the post without being captured. If you believe you have been captured by Hunterforce within a safezone, you must note the coordinates of the capture and report this to the umpire at the following post. The umpire will decide on your complaint.
- A capture is ‘a touch’. If one from the team is touched by Hunterforce, the team must stop and surrender.
- The team must be able to assemble upon capture, if the team cannot assemble within one minute after the first man has been captured, the team is eliminated from the exercise.
- Hunterforce must match the team in size. That is: Two from Hunterforce can capture a two-man team, but not a 6-man team.
- up to 350 participants in total
- 250 from guard units, 100 from special units
- All parties can be a part of Hunterforce on BN24. Unit size or experience are not critical. There is no competition in this part of the exercise. It will, however train you in basics military skills such as patrolling, observation duty, concealment, etc
General rules for Hunterforce:
- Hunterforce must be in full battle dress, no soldiers without equipment and weapons.
- Rules of Engagement – Hunterforce will be explained and handed out on arrival at BN24.
Rules of engagement must be obeyed. The Hunterforce unit (section, group) will be taken out of the exercise in case of violation.
Exercise staff and Post staff
The staff is responsible for:
- Leading and management of the exercise
- Battlespace management (location of units, vehicles and posts)
- Overall safety, logistics, signals ● Set up of posts for the exercise
- Setting up CP
- Coordination between all units (staff, walkers and Hunterforce)
- Handing of damage to civilian property
- Umpire service
- Food and catering service
- Management of score and and captures to rank the walkers in the exercise
- Diplomas and start/end ceremonies
General rules for staff:
- A ‘Rules of Engagement – Staff will be explained and handed out on arrival at BN24.
Rules of engagement must be obeyed. Umpire will ensure necessary corrective measures will be implemented in case of violation.
The golden boot for the winner of the 2-person team
With best regards
KN Bjarne Andresen