Stavanger, Norway – NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) conducted the first Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) Drill for TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 Exercise Campaign on 7-8 May 2019.

The purpose of the internal training event was to analyze the suitability of a new Exercise Control (EXCON) Command and Control (C2) concept, dubbed as the “JUPITER Model”, developed specifically for TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 due to its complexity, broader scope and unique operational requirements.

“TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 will be really impressive in many ways. Therefore, we’re looking at our own training architecture to see where we can enhance or improve our capabilities. Our rehearsal last week represented an important opportunity to test and validate the Battle Rhythm for the new JUPITER Model,” said German Army Lieutenant Colonel (GS) Peter Mientus, JWC’s Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for the ROC Drill.

“Internally, there was a whole lot of work put into the rehearsal and we designed a new concept that hasn’t been tested before with the available key players within EXCON. It fostered confidence, advanced our understanding, and helped build cohesion at all echelons. This is one of the key events which will be getting us ready for the unique TRIDENT JUPITER Exercise Campaign,” Mientus said.

Looking forward, JWC will integrate lessons identified from the rehearsal, refine and amend the “JUPITER Model” for the next rehearsal in September, and continue implementing innovative approaches in order to sustain unique mission requirements from NATO, Mientus added.

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TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 Exercise Campaign

Sponsored by Allied Command Transformation, the TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 Exercise Campaign consists of two linked multi-level Computer-Assisted Command Post Exercises directed by the JWC, as well as the one-level (tactical/land-centric) LOYAL LEDA 2020, which will be directed by the Joint Force Training Centre.

TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 Exercise Campaign will involve multiple nations and a wide range of Training Audiences (TA) of the NATO Response Force 2020, including Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC Brunssum), and Allied Land Command (LANDCOM).

The consecutive exercises are based upon an Article 5 Collective Defence scenario created by the JWC. Overall, TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 Exercise Campaign will certify NATO Response Force 2020; STRIKFORNATO as a NATO Expanded Task Force and JFC Brunssum as a Joint Task Force headquarters.

German Navy Commander Pierre Schubjé, one of the JWC OPRs for the exercise campaign, said: “Planning our largest exercise to test NATO’s ability to conduct a major Collective Defence operation is very exciting. With an exercise of this scope, clearly, there will be constant organizational learning and growth throughout the exercise, especially during the planning phase. The ROC Drill has shown the JWC is a learning organization.”

Outputs from the first ROC Drill, including minutes, lessons identified and collectively agreed best practices will inform the overall exercise planning process and future work, providing guidance for a more detailed EXCON refinement planning.

Biggest “drill” takeawaysTRJU19 LOGO

According to the Netherlands Army Colonel Peter Teeuw, Acting Head of JWC's Exercise Production Division, the first TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 ROC Drill was extremely successful.

“We took the theoretical C2 concept on a test drive and validated its suitability for our future exercise construct. We identified many lessons but also conducted a lessons learned lookback from previous exercises involving different perspectives of diverse audiences,” Teeuw said, adding: “One of the biggest takeaways is the fact that rehearsals are very important; you have to put theory into practice to make it a reality.”

U.S. Army Colonel Marcus Jones, JWC’s Programme Director, highlighted the need to establishing a robust EXCON structure that supports the complexity of training across the entire spectrum of conflict.

“As JWC exercises are growing in complexity, our EXCON structure has not necessarily grown. We are being asked to do more with the same amount of resources and personnel. So we have to figure out a way to take those resources and use them in a more effective manner over a much broader scale exercise such as TRIDENT JUPITER 2019,” Jones said.

The intention of the ROC Drill, Jones explained, was to “take the EXCON JUPITER Model and take the adjusted EXCON Battle Rhythm that supported it and test them against Content to understand whether or not they are going to be fit for purpose for future exercises.”

“I think the key takeaway that came from this collaborative planning effort is the idea that we should require EXCON ROC Drill as an essential part of the Exercise Planning Process for each exercise in the future,” Jones added.

Outputs from the first ROC Drill, including minutes, lessons identified and collectively agreed best practices will inform the overall exercise planning process and future work, providing guidance for a more detailed EXCON refinement planning.

“At the end of the first ROC Drill, we have a common understanding of the opportunities and challenges ahead of us within the new EXCON framework. A key takeaway is that we have to constantly develop and execute innovative ideas since we have to think and act at the operational level. That’s what we achieved with the rehearsal,” said Lieutenant Colonel (GS) Peter Mientus.

“We will have more facts as we move forward towards the second ROC Drill in September, such as the TA Battle Rhythm, and there is additional work to be done in order to make the JUPITER Model more mature, but now we have a clear and holistic plan on how to execute control over the TRIDENT JUPITER 2019 Exercise Campaign,” Mientus added.

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