National exercise with a focus on hybrid threats piloted in Austria

Hybrid CoE has developed an exercise to foster nationwide awareness of hybrid threats; to demonstrate the need for nationwide cooperation in countering them; and to look at existing structures and processes within the framework of the national Crisis Management Systems and interministerial working groups.

This national decision-making tabletop exercise (TTX) with a focus on hybrid threats was piloted on 14 June in Austria, the country which originally proposed that the Centre could develop this type of exercise. The exercise was designed from the outset with the intention of also making it available to other Participating States in order to develop a whole-of-government/-society approach based on existing national crisis management systems for countering hybrid threats/attacks.

The TTX consisted of two parts. Phase one was targeted at working-level practitioners, whereas the nationwide political decision-making process with the involvement of strategic-level participants from all ministries was at the core of phase two. Injects ranged from terrorist and cyber attacks, challenges regarding critical infrastructure, disinformation related to the health sector, the use of proxies, and instrumentalized migration. These challenges taught the ministries the importance of cross-government communication when faced with hybrid attacks. The results of the national exercise will only be relayed to the respective governments.

“Hybrid CoE is grateful for the opportunity to test this national exercise with the Austrian government.  We hope to further refine this product so that Hybrid CoE can make this programme a permanent part of the training catalogue,” said Shiho Rybski, Hybrid CoE’s Training and Exercises Director.

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