A mid-term vision for joint capability integration in support of NATO’s operational level exercises and doctrine, including experimentation and analysis, was the key focus throughout the discussions of the workshop initiated by Joint Warfare Centre’s Concepts, Capability Integration, and Experimentation (CCI&E) Branch from 2 to 4 February.
The workshop objective was to review JWC’s operational level collective training framework for now, in 2017 and beyond, while determining future capability integration projects for new concepts, doctrine and experimentation. The event brought together Allied Command Transformation (ACT)’s Operational Experimentation (OPEX) experts, JWC’s CCI&E community, the exercise planners and the scenario specialists.
“Our focus at JWC is on integration, rather than development, but we can achieve continuous Transformation only thorough ACT’s holistic capability development approach,” said CDR Kai Richter, JWC’s Branch Head for CCI&E.
U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Roger Watkins, JWC’s Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, in his welcoming remarks reflected on how Capability Development contributed to the responsiveness and adaptation of the Alliance to meet the future challenges of an unpredictable security environment.
“General Denis Mercier views the work that has been done in Capability Development as one of the main reasons why the Alliance has a Strategic Command for NATO’s Transformation in the first place,” Brigadier General Watkins said.
He then added: “Sometimes, we get very focused on the Readiness Action Plan, the exercises associated with it, and the Assurance Measures, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and the enhanced NATO Response Force (NRF), but somebody has got to be thinking about the next five years, 10 years, or 50 years, and working towards understanding the evolution of the security environment. This is our key objective and that is what I see you all helping us do.”
According to CDR Richter, the workshop provided an open forum to exchange best practices, discuss doctrine and joint capability integration priorities, and how they would best be synchronized into the TRIDENT Series of Exercises.
"As JWC’s practitioners in capability integration, we have a very strong working relationship with HQ SACT. This is critical to our warfare capacity and to NATO’s Transformation," CDR Richter said, adding: "Our aim is to develop a common activity picture and a roadmap for effective project integration to ensure best synergies between the current operational command training in exercises and NATO’s transformational aims, as developed in the Framework for Future Alliance Operations."
The workshop follows a key visit to JWC on 29 January by U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Jeffrey G. Lofgren, ACT’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Capability Development.
The June issue of JWC’s The Three Swords magazine will include an exclusive interview with the Lieutenant General.