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TRJR1NATO’s High Readiness Force Headquarters, NRDC-Italy is taking part in the land-heavy crisis response Small Joint Operation (SJO) exercise, TRIDENT JAGUAR 15 (TRJR 15) at NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger.

TRJR 15 is a command-post/computer-assisted exercise sponsored by Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and directed by Major General Reinhard Wolski, Commander of JWC.

The exercise started today, although the preparations have been ongoing since February 2014.

During the exercise, NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy (NRDC-Italy) will be evaluated as a Joint Task Force (JTF) HQ, able to provide an immediate military response in reaction to the traditional and asymmetrical threats associated with a fictional failing state in northern Europe as part of the SKOLKAN 2.0 training scenario.

JWC's Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for TRJR 15, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Sachariason, highlighted the significance of the exercise, saying: "Specifically, this is an excellent opportunity for NRDC-Italy and NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ), but also for the JWC and the Host Nation. NRDC-Italy and the Special Operations Component Command Core (SOCC-CORE) get to practice deploying and operating in remote locations and the JWC and the Host Nation get to showcase the outstanding facilities and capabilities they have to offer to conduct operational level exercises."

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TRJR 15 is the first exercise to use SKOLKAN 2.0 in conducting a land-heavy SJO --- additionally, for the first time, a Joint Force Commander from JFC Naples will serve as the Officer Conducting the Exercise (OCE) for a NATO Force Structure exercise.

Lieutenant Colonel Sachariason added: "One thing is definite: the SKOLKAN 2 scenario provides the depth and complexity required for this level of exercise. There has been an enormous amount of work from the exercise planners to prepare a difficult problem for the Training Audience to solve and the effort we have seen so far today demonstrates these HQs are up to the challenge."

The focus of the exercise has been broadened to include extremely complicated process of crisis response planning that involves war-fighting capabilities in the early stages of the SJO, joint targeting and joint integrated Command and Control.

TRJR 15 runs through 28 April.

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Three years of commitment of twelve nations

NRDC-Italy is commanded by Italian Army Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchiò.

When asked about the significance of the exercise Lieutenant General Marchiò said: "This exercise is our milestone event, the final step of our Full Operational Capability validation process as a Task Force Headquarters land-heavy for Small Joint Operations. It will demonstrate that NRDC-Italy is ready to face any challenge and to carry out its mission for the full spectrum of operations."

Lieutenant General Marchiò added: "TRJR 15 represents the outcome of more than three years of commitment of the 12 contributing nations of NRDC-Italy. This effort will allow our HQ to comply with the NATO Level of Ambition and will test our readiness to deploy worldwide in response of any crisis under the NATO umbrella."

The biggest achievement of TRJR 15, Lieutenant General Marchiò underlined, was the Full Operational Capability as a Joint Task Force HQ for NRDC-Italy, and to become certified as such.

However, he added it was also a great opportunity "to test ourselves in a high-tech facility such as the Joint Warfare Centre of Stavanger, in a very demanding environment. It will be a demanding exercise and we will have a great sense of achievement at the end."

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