STAVANGER, Norway – Commander, NATO Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, revealed his Vision statement, “JWC Vision 2025”, during an expanded All Hands Call in the Centre’s Harald Haarfagre Auditorium on Feb. 11, 2020.
The Centre’s new Vision is as follows:
The Joint Warfare Centre drives the delivery of collective training and warfare development at the operational and strategic levels of warfare. We are NATO’s trusted advisor bridging Operations and Transformation, underpinning NATO readiness and future capability development. The Joint Warfare Centre attracts and develops the most capable staff, both permanent and augmentees, based on a reputation for excellence built on a culture of professionalism, curiosity, innovation and cooperation.
JWC Vision 2025 is a result of a unified effort, which began in October 2019, and has been refined through many discussions with a team composed of all ranks and specialities.
Giving further insight and direction to the JWC as NATO’s premier establishment delivering collective training and warfare development at the operational and strategic levels of warfare, JWC Vision 2025 provides a roadmap for the future that will allow the staff to develop short- and long-term goals based on the Centre’s four main lines of effort:
1. Collective Training and Exercises
2. Warfare Development
3. Professional Development
Rear Admiral Kaack underlined that the main output of the JWC – operational-level exercises and warfare development – delivered by the Centre’s “One Team” had been impressive; yet, effectively managing new complexities in warfighting into the future really defined the JWC’s roadmap ahead.
“What do we mean by more complexity? It is the exercises we deliver, spanning from the upper tactical- to the military strategic-levels that demand an unprecedented quality focus; it is the increased breadth of Training Audiences; increased demand for our training scenarios from NATO and the Nations, as well as our simulation capacities,” Rear Admiral Kaack stated.
“More complexity also means the constant need to be alert and responsive to meet the strategic objectives of the Joint Force Commands; the re-focus on our warfare development capabilities as well as emerging concepts, doctrine and experimentation. Complexity also refers to the emerging challenges taking place in our dynamic security environment,” he added.
“When I offered to reflect on answering the question of ‘how to become fit for future’, our ideas centered around three main topics: increase the workforce, empower the people, and enhance agility,” Rear Admiral Kaack said. “And, indeed, this approach is what will keep us on track.”
Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander NATO Joint Warfare Centre, All Hands Call, Feb.11, 2020
The highest-ever level of mission-focused teamwork across JWC
Following the All Hands Call, the Centre conducted two workshops: an all-day “Fit-for-Future” workshop for all JWC staff to participate as a whole, and an in-depth SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis workshop on Feb.12 and 13, capitalizing on the findings of the Fit-for-Future workshop, with more limited participation.
Most notably, the Fit-for-Future workshop, with its four syndicates, saw the highest-ever level of teamwork across the JWC to address future organizational goals and responsibilities.
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Susie Lewis, JWC’s Human Resources Management Branch Head, who also led the syndicate for Professional Development, noted that the new strategic approach supported cooperation, understanding and growth as the JWC adapts to become “more fit” for the future requirements of the NATO Alliance.
“This week’s activities served not only to identify main goals to support Commander’s 2025 Vision, it also provided an outstanding opportunity for our ‘One Team’ to join together across directorate, division, branch and functional lanes to develop action items that will build towards achievement of that Vision,” said Lieutenant Colonel Lewis.
“The best part was the collaboration; free flow of ideas and subsequent discussions that resulted in smart, actionable tasks. We need to keep the momentum and ensure the staff is kept apprised on our development and completion of those tasks.”
Royal Norwegian Navy Captain Tom Robertsen, JWC’s Director of Management, who also led the syndicate for Organization, said: “Our syndicate dealt with organization, which was further distilled to cover structure, processes, and skills. Key to the discussions was identifying what works well and what needs improvement.”
He added: “Allowing everybody’s voice to be heard gave both weight and credibility to the discussions, and hence, recommendations. Most of the participants found the day to be rewarding and an excellent venue to talk on topics that interests the whole of the JWC.”
“In our syndicate, we focused on professional development, which is so important when training our people to do their jobs in the quickest time possible,” said Paul Sewell, JWC’s lead for Organizational Development and One Team Programme.
“We had so many great inputs ranging from quick wins to long-term goals. Ideally, we want to make sure our staff leaves the JWC better educated at the joint operational level, and I am confident that many of the ideas raised today will contribute to that aim.”
One Mission, One Vision, One Team
Rear Admiral Kaack emphasized continued teamwork, review and feedback to develop the JWC’s staff expertise and capability constantly would best support the vital mission of the JWC.
The JWC’s four project lines are interrelated and serve as constant points of reference on how the Centre will accomplish its goals:
- Collective training and exercises, to enhance readiness, operational efficiency and interoperability of NATO Forces throughout the Command and Force Structures to meet NATO’s Level of Ambition. The Centre’s priority is to ensure continuous improvement at the strategic and operational levels of warfare in order to provide the best training that the Training Audiences rightfully demand.
- Warfare development, to test NATO doctrine and experiment with future concepts. The aim is to drive necessary adaptations in the areas of doctrine, concepts, experimentation and lessons learned, while offering consistency and innovation to the Alliance in support of NATO’s military Transformation across the full-spectrum of operational-level warfare.
- Professional development, to develop resilience across the JWC by focusing on development of the Centre’s core personnel and through the improvement of the JWC’s organizational culture. This line of effort is underpinned by the Centre’s core values, its “One Team” programme, as well as the Allied Command Transformation (ACT)-led Human Capital programme.
- Organization, to examine and adapt interdependent structures and processes in order to most effectively and efficiently deliver the JWC’s unique mission as NATO’s lead agent for complex, multi-tiered, joint operational-level command post exercises for both non-Article 5 crisis response operations and Article 5 warfighting readiness. During these exercises, the JWC tests multi-domain Command and Control; practices military/political interface and portrays a simulated peer adversary – all of which require a unique organizational structure.
U.S. Army Colonel Marcus A. Jones, JWC’s Programme Director 1, and the Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for the Fit-for-Future and SWOT workshops, said: “JWC staff members have put a lot of hard work into developing both the ‘JWC Vision 2025’ and the goals and supporting tasks that must be accomplished to realize it.”
Colonel Jones added: “To ensure we turn these ideas into action, these elements will be organized along the four project lines and periodic progress updates will be provided to the entire JWC. We can’t implement every idea or change now, but in time this effort should result in tangible organizational improvement.”
“Together! To make NATO better!” Rear Admiral Kaack
Rear Admiral Kaack emphasized that NATO recognized the JWC as a centre for training excellence, providing the bridge between doctrine and practice. He underlined that the Centre’s strong reputation was a result of the hard work of every single member of the JWC.
“Together, we stay ahead of tomorrow’s challenges, and together we develop,” Rear Admiral Kaack stated. “This is also about our culture: working in an atmosphere of trust where everyone can bring his best ideas to the fight and openly discuss how we can become more agile and better as an organization, as well as within our community.”
“Let’s get this done! Together! To make NATO better!” Rear Admiral Kaack said.
The new JWC Vision is the Centre’s unrelenting commitment to NATO’s adaptation, readiness, and operational credibility as the JWC moves ahead on the front lines of NATO’s collective training and exercises. The Centre’s demanding Programme of Work is laid out in SACEUR’s training and exercise programme, which is taking place every day, across the two Strategic Commands of Operations and Transformation.
JWC Vision 2025 also fully supports the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept; the 20-year-horizon Vision of Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), General André Lanata, focusing on future warfighting capabilities of the NATO Alliance.
The new vision, overall, will serve as a roadmap ahead to achieve the JWC’s unique mission within NATO.
Photos from the JWC Vision 2025 workshops
- Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack holds first All-Hands Call, September 2019
- Commander's Foreword for The Three Swords Magazine, December 2019
- JWC Military Member of the Year 2019