STAVANGER, Norway – The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) and supporting NATO commands, contributing nations, and partners concluded the two-week Scripting Workshop for Exercise STEADFAST JUPITER-JACKAL 2020 (STJU-JA20), on November 6, 2020.

The workshop was the third and final step in the exercise content development process, following the one-week Incident Development Workshop at the JWC.

Sponsored by SHAPE and directed by the JWC, STJU-JA20 provides an invaluable opportunity for NATO to exercise crisis response operations, to plan and conduct two Small Joint Operations (SJOs), and to practice the projection of stability, at regional scale, within NATO Strategic Direction South.

British Air Force Wing Commander John Watson, JWC’s Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for STJU-JA20 underlined that the exercise aimed to demonstrate NATO readiness and joint interoperability across the air, land, sea, cyberspace, and space domains.

“STEADFAST JUPITER-JACKAL 2020 is a strategic, operational, and tactical-level computer-assisted / command post exercise based on an out-of-area, Non-Article 5 crisis response operation. With this exercise, we aim to provide the best training possible to NATO allies and partners in a constantly changing security landscape.”

Operationalizing Protection of Civilians

STJU-JA20 is the first major exercise where NATO Policy on Protection of Civilians will be recognized as an exercise objective.

The NATO Policy on Protection of Civilians was endorsed by the Nations at the 2016 Warsaw Summit. Following the approval of an Action Plan, the NATO Military Concept for the Protection of Civilians was also approved at the 2018 Brussels Summit.

With the Protection of Civilians becoming an exercise objective, understanding the human environment will be one of the key themes during the STJU-JA20 execution phase.
Hybrid threats, managing escalation/de-escalation, migration, dis/misinformation, and challenges related to the comprehensive approach are some of the other training focus areas of the exercise.


Three weeks and over 12,000 working hours

British Navy Commander Nick Meredith, Chief Content for STJU-JA20, noted that JWC took more of a leading role in storyline development during the exercise.

“After three weeks and over 12,000 working hours, we have produced a solid script that meets the needs of our training audiences,” Meredith said.

“Using the experience of contracted experts, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations and training audience staff, we have covered a wide range of training objectives, so that we can present challenges to NATO Commanders that will test their understanding of the complex operational and political environments that they may be required to conduct operations in.”

Meredith explained that during STJU-JA20 military planning dilemmas will sit alongside challenges such as “protection of civilians and cultural property, gender in conflict issues, and building integrity and trust” in order to deliver a complex exercise that will prepare NATO for its role as a force for good.

Meredith noted that STJU-JA20 would provide visible assurance of NATO’s cohesion and enhance warfighting skill-sets of the exercise participants.

STJU-JA20 information battlespace

Laura Loflin DuBois, Chief Media for STJU-JA20, highlighted the key role of media simulation, saying, “As with any weapon system, training prior to deployment is essential.”

DuBois added: “Our team has been focused on developing the media and information environment for this exercise. In this complex scenario, it is essential to provide a realistic information battle space to enable our training audiences to deliver the communication effects required to support their operational objectives.”

STJU-JA20 will make NATO even stronger

STJU-JA20 will be directed by Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC.

In his opening remarks on October 28, Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC and the Exercise Director, explained that exercises like STJU-JA20 provide a training environment that will ultimately make NATO even stronger.

“I sense a real determination all round to make this work – we all share that determination, and we believe that we have set the conditions for a good outcome, for the JWC, for the training audiences, and above all, for NATO,” the Commander said.