X0A8665 copy CTSWORKSHOPUnder the lead of Headquarters Allied Command Transformation (HQ SACT), NATO’s annual workshop for Collective Training Support Programme of Work (CTS-POW) was held on 26 and 27 April 2017 at the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway.



The mission of the workshop was to assess NATO’s current collective exercise and training support requirements, mitigate any capability gaps, and to gain situational awareness in an effort to develop innovative solutions for the delivery of highest quality training to NATO in 2018 and 2019. 

Based on the requirements outlined at the workshop, a draft CTS-POW document for 2018 has now been produced, which is expected to be finalized during the summer this year; approved and signed by French Air Force General Denis Mercier, SACT.

During the two-day workshop participants discussed diverse topics ranging from NATO’s Military Training and Exercise Programme (MTEP) and the SAGE1 to building a NATO-wide mutual understanding on the respective roles, responsibilities and capabilities of NATO’s two collective training organizations, namely the Joint Warfare Centre at the operational level and the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) at the tactical level, and how they adapt their training to best support the specific needs of different Training Audiences.

“We are training for Collective Defence of NATO,” said Norwegian Army Lieutenant Colonel Thor Randulff, the Head of HQ SACT’s Training and Exercise Programming Section, adding: “Training is vital. The overarching goal here was to agree on Collective Training Support Programme of Work, which is basically the contract between the JWC, the JFTC, and the different Training Audiences involved in exercises, for fiscal year 2018. The workshop has been an ideal venue for NATO's training community with the shared aim to strengthen capabilities and training capacities.”

Due to emerging training requirements developed as part of the NATO Exercise Programme Review (NEPR), the support requirements for fiscal year 2019 is currently difficult to predict, Randulff added.

“Since we don’t fully know the design of the exercises in 2019, it’s hard to look into their support requirements. Based on the NEPR, which has been recently approved by SACT and SACEUR, the exercises will be different in 2019. We will operationalize the new strategies, recommendations and courses of action that are aligned with the NEPR and then fit them effectively into the overall exercise programme. That work has not been finished yet. It will be done in the coming months.”

JWC's "One Team" ethos

JWC’s team of CTS-POW assigned facilitators included Royal Navy CPO Paul Thistlewaite, the main planner of the event, and German Navy Cdr. Malte Reichel, representing the Centre’s Real Life Support Section, amongst others.

Thistlewaite said that the organization required to host the CTS POW in Stavanger had been a real team effort. 

“Real Life Support, Security, Transport, Registry and CIS have all been very helpful and flexible in ensuring that the planning for this event has resulted in a successful visit,” said Thistlewaite. “Also, a special mention to Lieutenant Colonel Jocelyn Bergeron, who volunteered to host a tour of the JWC Bunker and exercise facilities, demonstrating JWC’s unique capability to host major NATO exercises. Therefore, CTS POW has been an event, which has epitomized the ‘One Team’ ethos at JWC.”

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Rear Admiral John B. "Brad" Skillman, JWC Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff speaking at the CTS POW workshop, 27 April. Photo by Maj Stephen Olsen, NOR A

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Lieutenant Colonel Thor Randulff, the Head of HQ SACT’s Training and Exercise Programming Section. Photo by Maj Stephen Olsen, NOR A


JWC is the premier operational level training organization of NATO, based in Norway

The Joint Warfare Centre is NATO’s focal point for full spectrum joint operational level training and warfare. The Centre has the capability to train two headquarters in two Combined Joint Operations Centres (CJOCs) simultaneously, with exercise participation of 1,200 people, including the Exercise Control with full communication and information systems' (CIS) support. At JWC, NATO forces are able to conduct focused, realistic and demanding training, integrating all aspects of operational level planning an execution, using turn-key facilities and leading edge Media Simulation and CAX capabilities. And, all this is available to NATO and Partners with surprising affordability and cost efficiency, thanks to outstanding support from our host nation, Norway. Also, we can never emphasize too much that our home city hosts the most glorious landscapes!

Velkommen til Stavanger!

1 SACEUR’s Annual Guidance for Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluations (SAGE)




NATO Senior Mentor Conference 2016