The foundation stone for Joint Warfare Centre's (JWC) new training facility was laid during a ceremony on 23 October, which is exactly five years to the day that JWC was officially inaugurated in 2003.
The construction of JWC's new training facility is a NATO-funded infrastructure project, which was approved on 6 December 2004, and the money was authorised on 25 April 2006. Just like the Joint Warfare Centre itself, the new training facility is a ground breaking transformational concept for NATO. Built on an area of 13,390 square metres, the five-storey new building will give the Joint Warfare Centre a state-of-the-art Exercise, Experimentation and Conference facility, while providing a transformational, computer-heavy Simulation Environment that is highly realistic.
The training facility can accommodate over 1,000 people at once. It includes an auditorium seating 600 and a TV studio for the generation of scenario news.
Represented by 24 NATO Nations and two Partnership for Peace Nations, the Joint Warfare Centre is the premier training establishment of the NATO Alliance, spearheading transformation of NATO's capabilities through robust, highly realistic and demanding training for the preparation of operational level headquarters. Subordinate to HQ SACT, the Joint Warfare Centre contributes to developing NATO's military doctrine, training forces for new missions and experimenting with equipment and tactics.
This is accomplished through:
- Biannual pre-deployment training for the International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan (ISAF)
- Triannual NATO Response Force/Combined Joint Task Force training for NATO operational commands
- Biannual Iraqi Key Leader Training delivered to Iraqi Security Forces
- Stand-Alone Experiments and Computer Assisted Exercises
Like those present, Lieutenant General Wolfgang Korte, Commander Joint Warfare Centre, was in an anniversary mood: "We are delighted,” he said, “to mark our fifth anniversary with such a unique and special event." He then went on to say: "The construction of the new JWC training facility underlines what I consider to be one of the greatest achievements of the past five years. I see it as a major advancement for the future of the Joint Warfare Centre. You can see it rising from its base in splendour and imposing a striking figure. Its construction is a testament to the commitment of NATO and Norway to the future of the Joint Warfare Centre."
At the press conference inside the construction site, Anne Grete Strøm-Erichsen, Norway's Minister of Defence, said that the new facility has a unique design and layout, which is tailored to meet JWC's tasks as a world-class training centre. Commenting on how the construction of the new training facility will help move NATO's transformation efforts forward, she said:
"It is of great importance to Norway to have a NATO body on our soil. It visualizes our strong ties to the Alliance and our commitment to its transformation. And we are truly proud to be the host nation for JWC."
The civil work construction of JWC's new training facility is scheduled to finish by 1 April 2009.