A large number of experts from various NATO command structures and member states congregated at the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) at the beginning of September for the start of the Main Events List/Main Incidents List (MEL/MIL) Scripting Workshop.

This event focuses on developing the content that will be exercised during the execution of the Small Joint Operation (SJO) exercise, TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 (TRJE 14), and subsequent Major Joint Operation exercise, TRIDENT LANCE 14 (TRLE 14).

These exercises will be executed during November and December 2014 respectively in various locations throughout the Alliance, including JWC in Stavanger, Norway.

Estonia welcomes JWC on high-level hosting of the Scripting Workshop for NATO joint operations exercises

During the course of this workshop, selected NATO Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) collaborated in crafting and scripting the various storylines and incidents together with the associated actions, known as injects, that will be entered into exercise play in order to initiate decision-making processes and activities by the Training Audience during the execution phases of the exercises in order to meet the designated training objectives.

In addition to asymmetric and conventional warfare issues, activities dealing with host nation, cyber, social and media were covered, to mention only a few. The NATO scripters were augmented by experts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who, in addition to scripting, also advised on the accuracy, reality and quality of the products being scripted. In doing so, the resulting scripted products were as authentic and valid as possible in reflecting real-world conditions and activities.

QX0A7882 mm1

A small nine-member team from Estonia participated in this event, which means that each participating member filled many roles simultaneously and provided advice in a plethora of different fields.

The team was motivated and proactive as they saw the scenarios of both exercises along with the issues being developed as possible real-life situations that may be confronted and acted upon should NATO actually have to plan and conduct military operations within their region. Some others may believe that the issues being developed will only be exercise-play for training purposes. Thanks to professional support from JWC, including an excellent infrastructure and skilled staff, the work progressed smoothly, as expected. Estonians are very positive on this type of activities. Estonian top brewery Saku donated dozens of drinks for the icebreaker of this workshop, to allow experts to have better grip on Estonian peculiarity.

Both exercises are using the fictitious SKOLKAN scenario in which NATO member states will play themselves. The actual exercise-play will replicate NATO Article V conditions focusing on training the planning and execution of defence operations in the Baltic States region, particularly Estonia, which will be seriously attacked and require large-scale assistance from the Alliance for the restoration of territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Taking into account the latest developments in the international community from the defence and security prospective, exercising the Alliance to collectively protect its member states is definitely the appropriate area to focus on.

Estonia has gained a lot of knowledge and practical expertise through the exercises directed by JWC. We strongly recommend other Alliance members to acquire scenario-directed host nation roles in the next NATO exercises and train their staff to the next level!