State-of-the-art training among the fjords of Norway

By Livia Jusztin-Majercsik 5/17/2017
NATO's Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) offers modern training facilities, equipped with advanced technological solu­tions, in an unparalleled location - the woods of picturesque Norway, looking over the Dale fjords, secluded from the city of Stavanger

NATO's Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) offers modern training facilities, equipped with advanced technological solu­tions, in an unparalleled location - the woods of picturesque Norway, looking over the Dale fjords, secluded from the busy city of Stavanger.

Simulation in a real arena

JWC is one of NATO's leading collective training and exercise facilities at the strategic and operational level, falling under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. Its 'old' wing was built in 2003, and a new complex has recently been added to the facility to fulfil the requirements of the operational training given to the highest ranking officials of NATO and Partner Nations.

JWC plays a key role in NATO's most complex exercises, like the TRIDENT Juncture/Jaguar/Javelin series, the largest Command Post exercises in NATO's history to this day. Such exercises have immense personnel, logistics, infrastructure, and IT requirements, and JWC has to be prepared to model all possible operations scenarios and train commanders in all the above fields. Thanks to the facility's all-round approach to simulation and problem-solving, combined with its state-of-the-art equipment, JWC is the place where this can happen to the last tiny detail.

When it comes to training military commanders, it is essential to provide them with realistic scenarios, which are at least as challenging as real life incidents might be. Therefore, the JWC provides training scenarios which take into consideration the moves of troops, the reaction of adversaries and the media environment. All these elements rely on a robust Communications and Information Systems (CIS) infrastructure to be effective, requiring continuous expert support.

Highest standards in Communications and Information Services

The NCI Agency's CIS Support Unit (CSU) Stavanger is responsible for delivering these CIS services to JWC. The Agency's role is two-fold in this special environment. On one hand, it provides the IT expertise needed for day-to-day business for permanent JWC staff, while on the other hand, it manages dynamic and flexible event services, such as setting up new, customized IT infrastructure every time in support of exercises at the same time. Communication among personnel who are participating in the training need to be simulated as if it was real.

This means video conferences or telephone conversations need to be classified, when required, and networks and connection have to be just as mobilizable as they would be in operations.

Since the Alliance has officially recognized Cyberspace as the fourth operational domain, beside Air, Land, and Sea, computer-assisted exercises (CAX) have become an even more indispensable part of regular NATO training and operation exercises than before. They are cost-efficient and a highly effective means of reducing risk and facilitating multinational participation from different locations.

Trident Juncture 16 driven by simulation

Trident Juncture 2016 involved many Nations with individuals from varied backgrounds. Its success demonstrated the determination and drive of all personnel involved, including that of the Joint Warfare Centre, the Agency's CSU in Stavanger and the Education and Training Service Line staff who collaborated to ensure the provision of a simulation environment.

During exercise Trident Juncture 2016, and now lately the Trident Jaguar 2017, JWC was the primary enabler for computer-assisted exercises. The CSU provided Simulation Tools and the Command and Control Systems stimulation.

Simulation is an interactive tool used (among others) to model Joint Air, Land and Maritime environment and behaviour. It consists of several component programs, which are closely related and integrated into a system allowing CAX Teams to create the required scenario databases, simulate unit behaviour, and report the results given.

Apart from simulation, in reality, the Agency provides JWC an entire arena of CIS solutions, ranging from simulated news broadcast distribution to re-routing to air traffic control simulation; in Stavanger and at remote locations, just as it would happen in real life. Essentially, a virtual world built up for a specific purpose. All aided by computers. The Joint Forces Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, supported by CSU Bydgoszcz, also conduct similar type of exercises, however on a operational/tactical level. The two training centres therefore together fulfill the overall requirement for staff training and preparation for future missions through advanced simulation and computer aided stimulation.

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