STAVANGER, Norway – NATO Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) bid a fond farewell to Rear Admiral James A. Kirk, the Centre’s Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff for the past two years, during a small ceremony on Friday April 3, 2020.
In line with safe distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony attendance was limited but no less special.
The ceremony began at the Office of Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC, continued with speeches and farewell gifts presented by the staff and concluded with Rear Admiral Kirk being ceremonially piped ashore for the final time, in good naval tradition by Chief Petty Officer Lee Shaw.
After leaving the JWC, Rear Admiral Kirk will assume duties as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven embarked on USS Nimitz, the oldest American aircraft carrier in active service.
Since his commission in 1990, Rear Admiral Kirk has served in a variety of afloat and ashore billets as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy.
Rear Admiral Kirk arrived to the Joint Warfare Centre from Surface Warfare Directorate (N96), aligned under the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (OPNAV N9), where he served as Deputy for Weapons and Sensors.
Rear Admiral Kirk said that he looked back very fondly on his time at the JWC and was impressed with staff’s professionalism and commitment to the mission that provides NATO's training focal point for full spectrum joint operational level warfare.
Working in a dual-hatted position at the JWC, where he was second-in-command overseeing daily operations and staff activities and serving as Deputy Exercise Director during the exercise execution phase, including the Command Post Exercise portion of TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018, NATO's largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War, Rear Admiral Kirk said he was able to experience first-hand the important role the JWC played within NATO.
“All that we do here – operational-level training, warfare development and innovation strengthens NATO’s readiness. Know that I am profoundly grateful for the work you do on behalf of our Nation, NATO, and community. It has been a privilege to serve here alongside you. My wife Sherry and I send our best wishes to you all.”
Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC and Rear Admiral James A. Kirk, April 3, 2020,