STAVANGER, Norway – NATO Exercise TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 kicked off in Stavanger, Norway, and in Menorca, Spain, on September 28, 2019.
TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 is a Computer-Assisted Command Post Exercise (CAX/CPX) aimed at training, evaluating and certifying NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Spain (NRDC-ESP) as Joint Task Force Headquarters to command and control a Land-heavy Small Joint Operation with elements from Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations.
Sponsored by Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and directed by the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 focuses on demonstrating Allied unity and resolve against the current and future global threats.
The two-level (operational and tactical) exercise is based upon a fictitious, non-Article 5 Crisis Response Operation scenario, dubbed as SKOLKAN 2, created and developed by the JWC.
During the execution phase, the Exercise Control (EXCON) organization, which is the “nerve centre” of TRIDENT JACKAL 2019, will be mainly located at the JWC. The JWC provides the core of the EXCON, including the Situation Centre, the Opposing Forces, CAX operators, the Grey Cell and media simulation. EXCON is also augmented by participants from other NATO commands, additional external sources as well as governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations.
Simultaneously, the Training Audience – NRDC-ESP and its Joint Logistics Support Group – will be located at San Isidro Military Base in Menorca, where the JWC’s Training Advisory Team will also be present.
"TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 trains NATO forces to rapidly respond to crises focused in the Land environment, with a particular emphasis on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism operations and cyber domains."
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Brassell, JWC’s Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for the exercise, gave a glimpse of what to expect over the following nine days.
“TRIDENT JACKAL is an exercise created to train and certify Joint Task Force Headquarters, in this instance the Rapid Deployable Corps Spain, to conduct a non-Article 5 Small Joint Operation in a realistic training environment and increase NATO’s interoperability. It trains NATO forces to rapidly respond to crises focused in the Land environment, with a particular emphasis on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism operations and cyber domains,” said Brassell.
Through the scenario-based Main Events List/Main Incidents List (MEL/MIL), the JWC will provide realistic operational dilemmas during the execution phase allowing the Training Audience to apply their knowledge and skills across traditional and emerging warfighting environments. CAX will bring the “look and feel” of field reality to the Training Audience by synthetic reproduction of various information sources.
Brassell added: “Transitioning from Rapid Deployable Corps Spain’s traditional role of a Land tactical headquarters to that of a Joint Task Force is a challenging effort. For the greater part of 2019, they have been training for this role through a series of events including Academics, Battle Staff Training and Crisis Response Planning. Now that we are in the execution phase of the exercise, JWC challenges the headquarters in its new Joint role, creating operational level dilemmas to stress the plan constructed by the headquarters during Crisis Response Planning.”
TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 is the most important exercise in the series scheduled by the Spanish Army this year to prepare NRDC-ESP as a Joint Task Force Headquarters within the NATO Force Structure – a crucial role it will assume on January 1, 2020.
According to the Spanish Ministry of Defence, TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 is the most important exercise in the series scheduled by the Spanish Army to prepare NRDC-ESP as a Joint Task Force Headquarters within the NATO Force Structure – a crucial role it will assume on January 1, 2020.
Between August 31 and September 22, more than 1,000 soldiers, 113 vehicles, 30 trailers and 120 containers deployed to the Island of Menorca to support the exercise. Overall, a total of 24 countries will participate in the exercise as participants, evaluators and observers.
The JWC planning for the exercise started in late 2017 and accelerated in December 2018. Some of the pre-eminent training objectives pertaining to a Joint Task Force Headquarters include the following: effective Command and Control of NATO Forces in theatre; timely and effective decision-making through coordinated staff processes; impact assessment of military operations on civil environment; Strategic Communications; theatre logistics; force protection and joint fires and targeting.
Subordinate to Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT), the JWC is the premier collective training establishment of the NATO Alliance at the operational level. It is a full-spectrum and cross-functional training and warfare centre committed to strengthen NATO’s interoperability, capabilities and operational effectiveness.
Exercise TRIDENT JACKAL 2019 will be directed by Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC.
Photos from Exercise TRIDENT JACKAL 2019, Norway and Spain