The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) hosted German Army General Hans-Lothar Domröse, Commander Joint Force Command Brussum (JFC BR), and his Deputy Chief of Staff (Plans) Netherlands Army Major General Hans van Griensven, on Thursday, 5 June.
The visit started with a comprehensive presentation on ISAF TE 14/01 by the exercise OPR, Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Thor Randulff. General Domröse and Major General Griensven then headed on to EXCON to observe the exercise environment set up by the JWC, where personnel from NATO's Joint Force Command Naples (JFC NP), the Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) along with Individual Augmentees from ISAF Troop Contributing Nations are being trained before they deploy for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, which will conclude on 31 December 2014.
General Domröse then took the opportunity to address the JWC staff and the Training Audience during an "All Hands Call" held at the JWC Auditorium. Here, he expressed his gratitude to all nations and individuals who contributed to the ISAF mission since its inception, gave a vote of confidence for Afghan security forces, and pointed out that we all share the great feeling of knowing what we have done has made a difference. However, he also noted, work still remains to make this progress enduring.
General Domröse said: "You will be deploying at a time of transition and you will close the ISAF mission as the last team to deploy to Afghanistan under the ISAF banner. Even though there are some uncertainties, don't worry, we have a magnificent leadership in theatre. I will be there with you when we lower the ISAF flag together with the Commander, and raise the Resolute Support flag. Resolute Support is a non-combat mission therefore it will be a significant change. There will no longer be soldiers or patrols in the streets but only trainers, advisors and assistance teams. And our work will continue that effort, respectful of the way Afghans do things. We have accomplished much and we have sacrificed much in pursuit of a stable and secure Afghanistan. We have built 350,000 capable and competent Afghan forces who are now securing the country and the gains that we made. So, thank you for your commitment and contribution to NATO's still most important and challenging mission."
General Domröse then encouraged the staff to be open and receptive in a training environment, such as the one offered by the JWC. He said: "You are all very experienced soldiers; the added value here at the JWC is to polish the jewel that you are. So, it is entirely up to you to make the best experience out of this training session here in Stavanger."
7,000 trained at JWC for ISAF mission
ISAF was created in 2001 at the Bonn Conference with NATO at its helm since 2003. It will transition to a non-combat mission after 2014 with the new Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces. As reflected in words of NATO Secretary General, the new mission will continue to "demonstrate our enduring commitment to stand with Afghanistan."
JWC, through its realistic, complex and progressive ISAF/IJC training, directly contributes to the conduct and success of operations in Afghanistan. Since 2004, the Centre has trained nearly 7,000 personnel for the two NATO headquarters in theatre, ISAF and ISAF Joint Command (IJC).
JWC's training approach, often referred to as "Crawl, Walk and Run", focuses on a Training Audience that has not met, trained and worked together before, while providing them with training that is extremely relevant to the challenges they may face in theatre, in an unforgiving combat environment and consequently help save lives.
ISAF TE14/01 is the Centre's final Afghanistan pre-deployment training event.
Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Thor Randulff, the exercise OPR, said: "The main challenge with this last ISAF training event at JWC is to tailor the training to the changing mission in Afghanistan. Content wise, we are highly dependent on Subject Matter Experts, both from theatre and those recently redeployed, and we are very happy for their presence and added value. To the Training Audience, my advice would be to stay flexible, and as commented by General Domröse earlier today 'make sure you add value to the mission, no matter what your current job description might say.'"
Lieutenant Colonel Randullf has been JWC's OPR for the last two ISAF training events. He added: "It has been a privilege to work with a number of ISAF training events during the last five years. The timing to hand over the responsibility to the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Poland fits perfectly with the changes in NATO's mission in Afghanistan. However, what future training requirements will be is yet to be defined."
During their stop at the JWC, in addition to ISAF TE14/01, the JFC Brunssum leadership also received in-depth information regarding different stages of the exercise planning process for upcoming training events and exercises, including next year's major exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15 (TRJE 15).
Don't forget to check JWC's Facebook page for more ISAF training pictures here https://www.facebook.com/NATO.JWC