STAVANGER, Norway – Approximately 40 Communications and Information Systems (CIS) and Information Management (IM) staff across NATO attended the CIS/IM Exercise Planning and Support Final Synchronization Workshop hosted by the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) from June 12 to 14, 2019.

Chaired by Mr Stuart Furness, Headquarters Allied Command Transformation (HQ SACT) Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Development (JFD) Programme Manager, the workshop primarily focused on synchronizing CIS/IM support to exercises; standardizing skillsets, terminology and tools, and adopting an improved curriculum at NATO CIS/IM courses. This final workshop was the culmination of a series of meetings that kicked off in January at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) SACT Staff Element Europe (SEE) in Mons, Belgium.

The coordinated feedback from the workshop, relating to CIS/IM readiness in support of future exercises, will be presented in July to the International Military Staff (IMS) – the executive body of the Military Committee, NATO’s senior military authority.


Lieutenant Colonel Dieter Heumueller, JWC’s Officer of Primary Responsibility for the workshop, highlighted the Centre’s key role in the process saying that the main purpose was to further the capability of NATO’s CIS/IM readiness.

“HQ SACT JFD approved the JWC study plan in November 2018, including pre-scheduled ‘milestones meetings’ in the first half of 2019. A preparatory academic workshop was conducted here in Stavanger to identify and articulate shortcomings and also to develop well-described problem statements in the context of CIS/IM support to exercises,” explained Heumueller.

“During a multi-stakeholder kick-off meeting at SHAPE SEE in Mons in January 2019, all relevant players in CIS/IM planning were invited to present their perspectives for improvement. The ‘big rocks’, as an outcome of the kick-off meeting, triggered a collaborative effort during the subsequent weeks and months, and prepared the ground for this final workshop at the JWC,” he added.

Heumueller noted that NATO CIS Exercise Support Meeting and Bilateral Strategic Command (Bi-SC) Information Knowledge Management Working Group Meeting in March 2019 as well as the Information Exchange Requirement Workshop were only a few examples of intensive cooperation during the last couple of months.

“During this final workshop at the JWC, the findings and deliverables were presented to HQ SACT JFD in order to provide the synchronized substance to develop recommendations to the Military Committee. In particular, the review of the relevant Directives, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), other processes and procedures, in light of the NATO Command Structure Force Adaption, has been a strong focus,” Heumueller said.

“However, the main outcome is that the CIS/IM stakeholder community unanimously agreed on the big rocks which will be presented to the Military Commitee CIS Working Group in September 2019 by ACT,” he added.

An in-depth article about CIS/IM support to future NATO exercises will be published in the upcoming issue of JWC’s “The Three Swords” Magazine.