REFORGER was the name of a regular series of military exercise
s undertaken by the NATO nations during the Cold War
. The first occured in 1969, and they became a regular yearly fixture soon thereafter. The most basic purpose of REFORGER was to 'practice' and refine NATO's plans to quickly transport units into the German theater in the event of a Soviet invasion
. Thus REFORGER, which is a condensed
form of the official name RE
turn of FOR
ces to GER
many. The associated imagery of recreating weaponry is intentional. :-)
In any case, the REFORGER exercises were designed to test the NATO Alliance forces' ability to muster up European units, transport units from the CONUS, and deploy the lot in a simulation of a hasty defense of the West German state from an Eastern invasion. These exercises (the first few were known as REFORGER (1969), REFORGER II (1970), etc, but soon became REFORGER-year as in REFORGER-88 for 1988) were enormously expensive. Not only in money, but in the inevitable damage to the German countryland and infrastructure (as well as those of surrounding nations) that occured when main battle units were run hurriedly over the roadways. Forests were leveled for bivouac, bridges damaged by armored vehicles, buildings accidentally knocked down when tanks drove through them, etc. One estimate places the cost of a REFORGER at approximately $15 Billion US (1990 dollars).
The last 'real' REFORGER, at least the last time actual troops were moved and fought, was REFORGER 88. There was actually a game for the Apple II that attempted to simulate this scenario turning into a real defense. After 1990, however, the exercise was modified to be a command and control test, with logistics and transport thrown in.