State Secretary Eirik Owre Thorshaug of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence made his first visit to NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) on Tuesday 15 January 2013.
Before his appointment to the Ministry of Defence in 2012, Mr Thorshaug subsequently served as Political Advisor and State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
On arrival to the JWC’s premises in Jåttå, Stavanger, Mr Thorshaug was warmly welcomed by French Army Major General Jean Fred Berger, Commander JWC, and senior officials of the Centre.
The visit programme included a bilateral meeting with the Commander and a series of comprehensive briefings by the JWC leadership on the Centre’s mission and tasks in support of the transformational goals of the Alliance, as well as on the Centre’s current activities and future requirements as NATO’s premier operational-level training provider. Major General Berger also briefed on the JWC Vision for 2014 and beyond.
The visit continued with a guided tour of the JWC's state-of-the-art training facility where further briefings were provided on the JWC’s pivotal role in preparing NATO’s operational leaders and their staffs to conduct real-world operations as members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, as well as to serve in the NATO Response Force (NRF), which is NATO’s highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force.
The programme in Stavanger concluded with visits to Air Station Sola and Camp Madla.
In addition to training young Norwegian recruits, Camp Madla also offers the most cost-effective accommodation for NATO’s operational-level staffs coming to Stavanger to receive training at the JWC; thus making it mission-critical for the JWC.
The State Secretary’s visit was very constructive overall and provided an excellent opportunity for both sides to put across their point of view on key issues, share insights and enhance common understanding between the Host Nation and the JWC, NATO’s footprint in Norway.
During the discussions, Major General Berger took the opportunity to highlight the JWC’s shared vision of an enduring partnership with Norway. He praised the active collaboration between both parties and underlined the warm welcome extended to the Centre by the Stavanger community.