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6H6A7416 concert15smallNATO Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) celebrated its 15th anniversary during a formal ceremony on Tuesday, 23 October 2018. The ceremony brought together many flag and general officers, high-ranking guests from Norway and the local community, the JWC’s international staff and family members as well as the local media.

The anniversary celebration featured speeches, a reception and concerts by the Military Band of Polish Armed Forces from Bydgoszcz; a cello quartet from Pomeranian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Norwegian music band Flunk.

Polish Army Major General Andrzej Reudowicz, Commander JWC, provided welcoming remarks spotlighting the JWC’s important role in training NATO Command and Force Structure headquarters and contributing to their ability to conduct full-spectrum, joint operational-level warfare as NATO’s footprint in the Northern region.

“When I began reflecting on the past 15 years, I quickly realized that our [JWC’s] history is not only joined with the progress of NATO exercise and training, but also the real world events and NATO deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, among others,” Reudowicz said, adding that many of the Centre’s Training Audience Commanders, such as Canadian Army Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard (Ret.), the former Commander of the NATO-led mission in Libya, deployed immediately following their training.

“This history of relevant training excellence has earned JWC a great reputation as an organization that can adapt to changing geo-political realities as well as NATO’s military requirements to operate in a world of changing threats,” said Reudowicz.

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Major General Andrzej Reudowicz, Commander JWC

“NATO’s future warfighting ability depends on JWC’s delivery of relevant, threat-based training,” Major General Andrzej Reudowicz, Commander JWC

Reudowicz emphasized that the JWC’s well-deserved reputation could be attributed largely to the quality Commanders NATO Nations have selected to lead its development over the years. “Our current streamlined structure, for example, is due to the vision of Lieutenant General Erhard Buehler, one of the former JWC Commanders, who is with us today. He began the optimization process that has enabled the JWC to maximize the effectiveness of our personnel structure.”

Reflecting on NATO’s 360-degree approach to security, Reudowicz noted that the NATO Alliance currently faced a broader range of threats than at any time in recent past. “Our work here is extremely important because NATO’s future warfighting ability depends on JWC’s delivery of relevant, threat-based training. These new threats have resulted in NATO changing its approach to its exercise and training programme, addressing full spectrum threats from any direction. Likewise, NATO Commanders are being asked to prepare for everything from small Crisis Response Operations to full scale, Major Joint Operations, involving a NATO country having invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,” he further underlined.

Focusing on JWC’s unique mission in scenario development, Reudowicz said that the foundation to each exercise was an in-depth scenario that needed to be “responsive to a maximum range of training objectives”, providing NATO with fictitious but very realistic venues to explore its most relevant, full-spectrum threats.

Reudowicz then highlighted some of the organizations that assist the JWC in its delivery of quality, full-spectrum training to NATO forces, including the Centres of Excellence for Joint Air Power, Energy Security, Command and Control, Cyber, CBRN, CIMIC as well as NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), the NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs), International Red Cross and Transparency International, amongst others. Additionally, Reudowicz noted the value of cooperation and collaboration with many Alliance and Partner Nations.

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Frank Bakke-Jensen, the Norwegian Minister of Defence

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Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, Norwegian Chief of Defence

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General Sir James Everard KCB CBE, DSACEUR

"Without the JWC, we will fail,” General Sir James Everard, DSACEUR

Today’s keynote speakers included H.E. Frank Bakke-Jensen, the Norwegian Minister of Defence; Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, Norwegian Chief of Defence, and General Sir James Everard KCB CBE, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), who all highlighted the importance of celebrating the Centre’s 15th anniversary alongside Allies, Partners and the local community in Stavanger.

Mr Bakke-Jensen, in his speech, pointed out that as NATO faced challenges of a bigger scope and complexity, the JWC’s role of enabling the Alliance to meet these challenges would remain enormously important. Highlighting the Centre’s exceptional efforts in the upcoming Command Post Exercise portion of NATO TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018, the Minister said: “Both Allied Command Transformation and the JWC deserve full credit for their work and TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 will show the significant role they both play in supporting the generation of relevant and flexible military power to our collective defence.”

Admiral Bruun-Hanssen honoured the strong cooperation between the National Joint Headquarters and the JWC, which has flourished since the Centre’s initial years, and said: “The Norwegian Armed Forces has gained many benefits from having JWC in our country; the cooperation and friendship with the JWC is highly appreciated and we hope to see it grow further in the years to come. I wish the JWC a very happy birthday!”

General Sir James Everard, meanwhile, focused on the importance of training at the operational level of warfare as NATO continued to adapt to dynamic security challenges. General Sir Everard said: “Our militaries are still strong, yet our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare – air, land, sea, space and cyberspace. (…) We had better continue to try harder, now that the Euro-Atlantic Area is under pressure once again. And we should be very clear that Alliance remains uniquely capable of deterring war, defending our populations and strengthening the global security system and rules-based order.”

Everard thanked the JWC staff for continually meeting the mission: “If SACEUR were here he would say; if we do not prepare at the joint operational level of warfare, we will fail. Therefore, without the JWC we will fail. So, let’s sustain and enhance. Here, at the JWC there is one sword for Training, one sword for Experimentation and Doctrine Development and one sword for Analysis of Lessons Learned. Congratulations for 15 years well spent. ACO look forward to the next 15 years!”

The impressive assembly of dignitaries attending the JWC’s 15th anniversary celebration included Lieutenant General Rajmund Andrzejczak, the Polish Chief of Defence; many foreign Ambassadors to Norway; Vice Admiral Paul Bennett CB OBE, Chief of Staff to Supreme Allied Commander Transformation; Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak, the Polish Military Representative to NATO; Lieutenant General Erhard Buehler, former JWC Commander and Brigadier General Stephen DePalmer, former JWC Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff; Mr Hans Vik, Chief of Police of Rogaland as well as many Defence Attaches, and representatives from NATO Command and Force Structure headquarters.

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Frank Bakke-Jensen, the Norwegian Minister of Defence and Major General Reudowicz

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Distinguished Visitors group photo, 23 October 2018

All photos below are by Livia Jusztin-Majercsik, Media Simulation Section:

 

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