By early 2005, the NATO Command Structure included three pillars of fundamental training: Joint Warfare Centre, Joint Force Training Centre and Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre. In April 2005, their Directors met to highlight priorities and challenges for achieving Full Operational Capability. At the time, the biggest challenge for the JWC was the manning deficit since it was manned at about 55% of its authorized Peacetime Establishment (PE).
A second strand for the JWC concerned its organizational structure. As its initial organizational structure was formed before its terms of reference, mission and tasks were approved, the JWC had to create an “amended organizational structure” to be able to perform its mission and deliver its primary outputs.
On 1 September 2005, an Amended Organizational Test Structure was implemented, providing the JWC with a new approach to conducting its missions and tasks. It was better task-organized, and thus could provide better leadership from the Divisions.
In these early times, the JWC already demonstrated its capacity as the interface between the requirements of NATO’s operational commands and the brave new world of change. At mid-2005, its Vision Statement was unveiled, charting a course for the future: A world-class training centre that drives NATO transformation forward through an innovative concept development, experimentation and doctrine development process.
Starting to Deliver on Training
NRF Early 2005, the NATO Response Force (NRF) was still a work in progress. After eight months of planning, the JWC hosted a NATO Exercise/Seminar, “Allied Reach 05”, which aimed to set strategic guidelines for the future of the NRF and highlight critical areas and recommendations on ways forward.
The spotlight was on NRF training at the JWC, which ensured NATO was able to meet its operational objectives for planning, mounting and conducting a joint, combined non-Article 5 crisis response operation based on the NRF concept.
The JWC’s first exercise took place just three months after its activation, from 1-6 February 2004 for 130 staff of 11 Nations assigned to AFSOUTH, which was designated as NATO’s first Deployable Joint Task Force (DJTF) headquarters. During this event, the Ulsnes Interim Training Facility was used for the first time. Initial setup and modernization of Ulsnes continued during the exercise and for several months after.
ISAF The first ISAF Mission Rehearsal Training at Ulsnes was conducted for the sixth rotation of ISAF, led by Headquarters Eurocorps. It took place 18-22 June 2004 in presence of a Training Audience of 400 from 14 NATO and Partner Nations.
NTIM-I The JWC played a major role in the pre-deployment training for NATO’s Training Implementation Mission in Iraq. In August 2004, under the leadership of Major General James Short, then Chief of Staff JWC, an ACT Training Team was formed, including 45 personnel drawn from ACT, ACO, JFC Brunssum, JFC Naples and the JWC. The team arrived in Baghdad with a mission to identify present and future training needs of Iraq’s Security Forces.
As a result, in-country training started on 18 August 2004. When NATO decided to step up its out-of-country training, the JWC was selected to host it. 19 senior Iraqi officers arrived in Norway on 1 November 2004 to participate in NATO’s first out-of-country training for Iraqi Security Forces.
Major General Short noted: “We are providing Iraqi key leaders with training that is extremely relevant to the challenges and opportunities they are facing in rebuilding their country’s security institutions. Our efforts here directly contribute to Iraq’s ability to strengthen internal security and prepare them for the future.”
A Key Tool of New NATO
By this time, JWC clearly was influencing NATO transformation. Its most potent demonstration of its impact was through its deliverables with exercises and training events going at full pace. Before the year came to an end, NATO approved the Capability Package for the construction of a state-of-the-art training facility to replace Ulsnes, thus recognizing that the JWC was worth the investment in people and infrastructure.