The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) kicked off this year’s "Newcomers' Training" on 18 August to welcome 87 new staff members and their families to the organization, marking the JWC's highest employee turnover rate to date.
Some of the other newcomers will arrive in September.
The aim of the Newcomers' Training is to facilitate a successful and smooth transition for all incoming staff members, introduce them to their new workplace environment and provide an understanding of JWC's mission and heritage.
In his welcome address, U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Roger H. Watkins, JWC Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, being a newcomer himself, said: "We are walking into what is described as the busiest year in the JWC history. We are expected to get on a treadmill and start running very quickly in order to best contribute. I am very excited to face the challenges and opportunities together with you as we move forward."
Brigadier General Watkins then articulated the professional excellence achieved by the JWC over the years and highlighted the staff's dedicated efforts on its organizational culture.
He then pointed out that despite the changes to its mission, the Centre will continue to play a very significant role within NATO.
"This is a challenging time for the Alliance," said Brigadier General Watkins, adding: "Therefore, it is a very significant time for you to join us and contribute your abilities. We are very happy and fortunate to have each one of you here. The geo-political environment in the world is becoming ever more complex, dynamic and unstable, which calls for a transformation in the way we think, act and organize ourselves. The JWC, likewise, is transforming. Our mission is shifting from a focus on training the ISAF forces twice a year to training NATO Command and Force Structures on core competencies of the Alliance so that they are better prepared to address security challenges, wherever and whenever they arise."
Brigadier General Watkins then reflected on JWC’s One Team organizational culture and Professional Values. He said: "Be part of the 'One Team' and go through our 'One Team' programme with an open mind. Understand how you can help this team to be better and interact with the others. All of what we do at the JWC in order to provide world-class training to NATO's forces takes innovative thinking as well as creativity and discipline. Embrace our values; be innovative and supportive and inclusive and accountable. JWC’s motto is 'One Team. Training NATO. Transforming Warfare and Securing the Alliance.' This is the core of what we do here. It helps us to get our mission done with the best results."
Working side-by-side with staff coming from 16 different countries will be quite an enriching and rewarding experience, Brigadier General Watkins said. He added: "Because, at the end, it is all about our 'One Team', our results and products, such as developing challenging exercise scenarios that incorporate new threats and global uncertainties into NATO's training programme, because we all know that NATO must be prepared. You all have a valuable contribution to bring to this organization. Take great pride in joining a unique organization which is recognized as NATO's premier operational warfare centre. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the JWC."
The Newcomers' Training includes a rich portfolio of topics such as JWC's transformational role in NATO, an overview of upcoming exercises and training events, new concepts, NATO doctrine, lessons learned and joint analysis of operations, Information and Knowledge Management, Computer and Information Systems, as well as community news. Additional briefers were also introduced from the Public Affairs Office (PAO), security, finance and health and safety organization.
The training will conclude on 20 August.