STAVANGER, Norway – Polish Army Major General Piotr Malinowski assumed command of NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) from German Navy Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack during a Change of Command Ceremony held at the Centre’s Harald Haarfagre Auditorium on October 8, 2021.
French Air Force General Philippe Lavigne, NATO’s new Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), presided over the ceremony.
Senior military and civil service officers from across NATO and Norway, the diplomatic community in Oslo and distinguished guests from Germany and Poland, the Centre’s international staff and their families, as well as many dignitaries from Stavanger attended the ceremony.
Prior to relinquishing command, Rear Admiral Kaack delivered his final remarks as the JWC Commander and thanked those in attendance; General Lavigne – for his presence just 14 days after taking over the command of ACT, Host Nation Norway and the Norwegian Armed Forces, his family, and the JWC’s One Team.
“It has been a high pace, dynamic, and highly productive 27+ months. A time that my family and I will keep in very good memory. Major General Malinowski, Piotr, the foundation for a Joint Warfare Centre that is fit for the future and that will meet NATO’s training and warfare development demands of tomorrow has been laid. I wish you all the best for leading this unique group of people and the Joint Warfare Centre into the future," he said.
Rear Admiral Kaack is moving to Germany to become the Commander of the German Fleet and Deputy Chief of the German Navy, and he is approved for appointment to the rank of Vice Admiral.
General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT)
In his remarks, General Lavigne spoke about the importance of the JWC’s mission to maintain readiness and adaptation of NATO Command and Force Structure Headquarters through the delivery of NATO’s most complex command post exercises and continuous innovation in warfare development.
“The Joint Warfare Centre is NATO’s trusted advisor that bridges Operations and Transformation, underpinning NATO readiness and future capability development,” General Lavigne stated.
“It is a team effort. The Joint Warfare Centre’s work benefits NATO’s both Strategic Commands, Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation. It benefits the NATO Command Structure. It benefits individual member states. It short, it serves the Alliance.”
General Lavigne praised Rear Admiral Kaack for his accomplishments at helm of the JWC, especially his exceptional leadership in conducting Exercise STEADFAST JUPITER-JACKAL 2020 during the global pandemic, and for developing new capabilities to serve NATO, such as wargame design.
He then welcomed Major General Malinowski saying that the JWC would continue to progress forward under his leadership.
General Lavigne said: “You are no stranger to NATO and ACT, coming from the Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, in Poland, your home country, and having served three years in Norfolk a decade ago.”
General Lavigne added, “You are a man of action, reflection and strategy. I know that under your leadership, the Joint Warfare Centre will continue to excel. I know that you will be committed to pursuing and expanding the studies underway, and to initiating those that you deem necessary to adapt to a constantly changing world.”
Major General Piotr Malinowski becomes the JWC's 10th Commander
Major General Malinowski, the JWC’s tenth Commander, served at HQ SACT from 2008 to 2011, and his last assignment was as the Commander of the Joint Force Training Centre.
In 2014, Major General Malinowski was appointed as Chief of the State Defence Readiness Unit in the Department of Defence Strategy and Planning of the Ministry of Defence.
That same year, Major General Malinowski started postgraduate defence policy studies at the National Defence University of Warsaw, where he graduated at the top of his class. Later he took command of the 17th Mechanized Brigade.
In March 2018, Major General Malinowski became Chief of Staff of the Multinational Division Northeast and was promoted to Brigadier General.
In November 2019, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the General Forces Command of the Polish Armed Forces.
Major General Malinowski’s assignments also include two tours in Iraq, in 2004 and in 2007, where he served as the chief of a reconnaissance unit within the Polish Military Contingent, and as the deputy brigade commander, respectively.
In his first address as the JWC Commander, Major General Malinowski expressed his desire to lead the Centre.
“I am really satisfied to join the JWC; it is an exceptional place to work. I am convinced that it will be an exciting task for me. I am glad that I came to Norway, which I am visiting for the first time, and from the very first day, I am fascinated by the nature, by the people, and by the city of Stavanger.
Major General Malinowski then stressed that the JWC would continue to deliver excellence across NATO and for the Member and Partner Nations.
“Together, we can use our talents to get the Alliance excited about the events we promote. I wish Admiral Kaack good luck in his new position and fair winds and following seas. Alles gute Jan!”
Major General Piotr Malinowski
The Royal Norwegian Naval Forces Band
About 60 guests were present during the ceremony in Stavanger, including, Mrs Lone Merethe Solheim, County Governor of Rogaland; Mrs Kari Nessa Nortun, Mayor of Stavanger; Mr Hans Vik, Chief of Police; H.E. Mr Alfred Grannas, the German Ambassador to Norway, and H.E. Mrs Iwona Woicka-Żulawska, the Polish Ambassador to Norway.
Also present were Vice Admiral Elisabeth Natvig, Chief of Defence Staff Norway; Rear Admiral Ole Morten Sandquist, Deputy Commander Norwegian Joint Headquarters, and Rear Admiral Rune Andersen, Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy.
Major General Georg Klein and Brigadier General Piotr Zurawski represented the German Armed Forces and the Polish Armed Forces, respectively. Many representatives from the NATO Command and Force Structures also attended the JWC’s Change of Command Ceremony including, Major General Karol Dymanowski, SHAPE, and Lieutenant General Kyrysztof Krol, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum.
The Royal Norwegian Naval Forces Band, led by Chief Petty Officer Eivind Sandgrind, supported the JWC’s Change of Command Ceremony with a great selection of music.
Major General Piotr Malinowski
About the Joint Warfare Centre
As NATO’s footprint in the Northern European region, the Joint Warfare Centre is responsible for planning, developing, and delivering operational- and strategic-level training and exercises that challenge NATO Command and Force Structure headquarters, while simultaneously supporting NATO warfare development through doctrine, concept development, innovation, and experimentation efforts.
In doing so, the JWC has proudly served at the heart of NATO’s transformational activities and warfare development, ensuring the high readiness and successful interoperability of the NATO Command and Force Structure headquarters in a rapidly evolving and complex global security environment.