STAVANGER, Norway – Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack held his last All Hands Call as Commander of NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) on Friday, October 1, 2021.
Recently, Rear Admiral Kaack assumed duties as the Commander of the German Fleet and Deputy Chief of the German Navy, where he will be promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral.
In his address, Rear Admiral Kaack expressed his gratitude to the JWC’s staff for their dedication and reviewed the Centre’s trailblazing achievements over the last eight months.
“We made a difference. We made NATO better. We demonstrated our achievements during the global pandemic, and we successfully promoted our findings in the 2021 Future Exercise Support Capability Study, or through our new outputs, such as wargaming design and the Joint Operations Planning Group (JOPG) Leaders Workshop,” the Commander said.
Rear Admiral Kaack underscored the JWC’s strong relationship with NATO’s two strategic commands, Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation, as well as the NATO Command and Force Structure Headquarters, Host Nation Norway, and new potential partners.
“The elaborate and professional way in which you, as a team, represent this Centre builds trust with our higher headquarters and our customers within the Alliance, which ultimately gives us more freedom of manoeuvre and the possibility to further develop our own ideas. Our potential partners leave the JWC deeply impressed after a visit and show a big appetite to stay engaged with us.”
The Commander stressed the important role the JWC played in support of the command post exercise portion of STEADFAST DEFENDER 2021, NATO’s flagship collective defence and largest multi-domain exercise this year, saying that the JWC successfully set the conditions for the NATO Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) to be certified as an operational headquarters.
“The elaborate and professional way in which you, as a team, represent this Centre builds trust with our higher headquarters and our customers within the Alliance, which ultimately gives us more freedom of manoeuvre and the possibility to further develop our own ideas.” - Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack
Rear Admiral Kaack then reviewed the JWC’s “Vision 2025” initiative, underlining that the workshops gave the JWC staff an unprecedented opportunity to work together on four project lines: Collective Training, Warfare Development, Organization, and Professional Development.
“Besides exercise delivery, making the JWC fit for the future has been at the forefront of my mind during my tenure,” the Commander said, adding: “We have refined our internal processes and made significant progress towards a command-wide professional development programme. Furthermore, we have deepened our warfare development efforts and developed new capabilities that will ensure NATO’s future success – namely the JOPG Leaders Workshop, standardized exercise and training objectives, and the wargaming design capability. In addition to these, we have myriad achievements recorded and still underway this year.”
Rear Admiral Kaack said: “The Vision 2025 project is a perfect vehicle with which to capture the imagination of our workforce and I recommend that it continues in future years. Together we can make JWC better!”
Rear Admiral Kaack had one final message for the JWC’s “One Team”.
“In a week’s time, you will see me standing up here again addressing you and handing over the JWC’s command to Major General Piotr Malinowski, who has just arrived this morning. Farewells are never easy, but saying goodbye to Stavanger, the Joint Warfare Centre, and this team of open-minded professionals will be particularly difficult. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your good work, your inspiration, the desk side chats, your diligence, your trust, and more importantly, your courage to speak up if things go the wrong way. I wish you all the best, fair winds, and following seas.”
During the event, Rear Admiral Kaack presented selected JWC staff with Commander’s coins and certificates in recognition of their hard work over the last eight months.
Additionally, three staff members, Colonel Darren Denning, Commander Nick Meredith, and Mr Ivan Vianello, were presented with the Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) Certificate of Commendation.
Photos from the event: