The Main Events List/Main Incidents List (MEL/MIL) Incident Development Workshop for NATO Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 (TRJE18) took place from 16 to 20 April at Joint Warfare Centre’s training facility in Stavanger, Norway.
Over 140 participants from Allied and Partner Nations as well as representatives from both governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations came together at the workshop to continue the planning and preparation for Exercise TRJE18, scheduled to take place this fall.
TRIDENT JUNCTURE18 is NATO’s largest high visibility exercise since 2015, with Norway and Iceland serving as Host Nations. The two-part exercise will be comprised of a major Live Exercise (LIVEX) and a separate Computer-Assisted Command Post Exercise (CAX/CPX) that aims to train command and control procedures of NATO Response Force 2019 (NRF19), led by Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples). The LIVEX will be executed primarily on Norway’s territory, with some limited activity in Finland and Sweden and the adjacent waters, including the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The CAX/CPX portion of TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 will be directed by Polish Army Major General Andrzej Reudowicz, Commander Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), who is designated as the ODE, or, Officer Directing the Exercise.
Admiral James G. Foggo, Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples (left) with Major General Andrzej Reudowicz during a visit to the Centre on 28 February 2018. Photo: JWC PAO
Setting the gold standard of joint operational readiness
“We are developing joint and effective solutions to joint warfighting challenges.”
Those were the words of German Army Lieutenant Colonel Holger Judt, JWC’s Chief Opposing Forces (OPFOR) for TRJE18, as he reflected on the MEL/MIL Incident Development Workshop. “The success of the workshop started with the Scenario Wargame in October 2017. This wargame enabled stakeholders to understand the complexity of a new training scenario and identify opportunities; both for the JWC staff and the Training Audiences,” said Lieutenant Colonel Judt.
The workshop in Stavanger involved key trusted agents from across the TRJE18 Training Audiences, civilian agencies as well as Subject Matter Experts from across all disciplines within the JWC who worked together to generate detailed, complex and realistic incidents under an Article 5 (Collective Defence) scenario that will challenge the NRF19 assigned headquarters to tackle a number of operational-level dilemmas, including those within the non-linear and hybrid spectrum of warfare.
Lieutenant Colonel Judt expanded, “results of the Wargame represented the foundation of the discussions at the TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18 Strategy Workshop in January. The resulting operational dilemmas were then weighed against the planning outputs of Joint Force Command Naples, the Component Commands and Host Nation Norway. Based on our interaction during the Crisis Response Planning, the preconditions were established to develop an agreed CPX-design, which was the core element to link all dilemma related engagements during this Incident Development Workshop.”
The JWC-led CAX/CPX aims to provide training across the full spectrum: From Collective Defence to humanitarian assistance operations and cyber threats to national total defence concepts, involving a whole-of-society approach to security.
During the CPX, the Article 5 and Crisis Response Operations in defence of Norway will be based on the fictitious OCCASUS training scenario, created and developed by the Joint Warfare Centre over a period of 24 months, involving actual and fictitious nations in the Arctic Region, or the High North.
Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel Dave Canavan, JWC's Chief MEL/MIL for the exercise explained that the CAX/CPX would provide a high-intensity and multi-dimensional training environment for the participating Training Audiences to enhance their predictive understanding of today’s warfighting challenges, ensuring that NATO is prepared to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Following the successful completion of the workshop, the JWC will soon begin preparing for the next training event.
“The Incident Development Workshop started with a good understanding of a very clear Operational-level plan,” said Lieutenant Colonel Canavan. “The clarity of both the Joint Operational and OPFOR campaign plans, as presented by Joint Force Command Naples and the OPFOR team respectively, combined with a clear understanding of the missions of the Component Commands and Host Nation ambitions enabled the participants to develop a strong script framework for further enhancement in the upcoming MEL/MIL Scripting Training Event.”
Canavan added, “The outcome of these workshops will provide a coordinated series of challenges at the Operational- and Strategic-levels for the NRF19 Training Audiences during the Command Post Exercise this fall. We are looking forward to the execution phase, which will greatly amplify NATO’s interoperability and readiness. As the Joint Warfare Centre team, we are proud to be so heavily involved with one of NATO’s largest-ever exercises.”
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