STAVANGER, Norway – NATO’s major computer-assisted command post exercise (CAX/CPX) STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 (STJU21) concluded on October 28, 2021.
Sponsored by SHAPE and directed by the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 was NATO’s largest CAX/CPX this year, designed to train and evaluate the NATO Response Force 2022 (NRF22) under the lead of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), as well as several other NATO entities.
STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 involved approximately 5,000 participants from 26 NATO and two partner countries, Finland and Sweden.
Overall, the exercise challenged the training audiences at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels focusing on the challenges of deterrence across all warfare domains, including air, sea, land, cyber, space, as well as the information battlespace.
The exercise also explored hybrid threats, improved the capability to plan and execute a Major Joint Operation (MJO), and strengthened Allied interoperability and cooperation with partner nations.
Major General Piotr Malinowski, Commander JWC and the Exercise Director
Major General Piotr Malinowski, Commander JWC and Exercise Director, said: “STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 was a critical exercise for the Alliance, as it focused on improving the understanding of the multiple training audiences concerning the challenges of deterrence. In the past, most of the NATO exercises were constructed to train our combat abilities. STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 is the first one exercising the NATO Treaty pre-Article 5 activities. The exercise is a message in itself that NATO Nations are prepared to win the war by preventing war.”
The Commander added: “As the JWC’s One Team, we are very proud to be able to contribute to the concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA) through this exercise. This exercise makes us better prepared to respond to any potential crises more efficiently and effectively. STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 contributed to our readiness, responsiveness, and high-end military interoperability to meet current and future defence needs. Together we make NATO better.”
Lieutenant Colonel James Rossell, the JWC’s lead planner for the exercise, said STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 tested and prepared the training audiences for the real-world priorities of deterrence and defence.
“As our yearly strategic-operational-tactical level command post exercise comes to a close, we can now reflect on what we have achieved. For our first deterrence focused exercise, there are many lessons to share. We have the opportunity to hone our skills in order to better prepare and plan for crisis response.”
"In the past, most of the NATO exercises were constructed to train our combat abilities. STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 is the first one exercising the NATO Treaty pre-Article 5 activities. The exercise is a message in itself that NATO Nations are prepared to win the war by preventing war.”
Major General Piotr Malinowski
Commander Joint Warfare Centre and Exercise Director
Members of the training audience at the Joint Warfare Centre
STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 consisted of all domain operations against a peer adversary based on a fictitious pre-Article 5 scenario using NATO’s 360-degree approach, set in the High North region of Europe and the Baltic Sea Region.
“The nature of a deterrence-focused exercise throws up a very different set of challenges for the joint force commander,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dominik Schmitz, the JWC’s Chief Content for the exercise.
“In a deterrence-focused exercise, the joint force commander and his staff seek to demonstrate NATO’s capability and resolve, whilst minimizing risk of escalation across all domains. This is a delicate balancing act, which requires a deeper understanding of political complexities and constraints. Exercising this will help train commanders in the art of resolving a crisis before it becomes a conflict.”
Major General (Ret.) Timothy J. Bevis CB CBE served as the JWC’s Senior Exercise Control (EXCON) Advisor during the exercise. He underlined that the focus was on both military activities and civil preparedness in peacetime to achieve credible deterrence to prevent conflicts.
“STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 is based upon a pre-Article 5 scenario played out with many hundreds of injects of information by a large group of exercise support staff,” Major General Bevis said.
“The JWC leads the way in designing and delivering these complex multi-layer events, and, in this case, has put new stresses on those being trained by holding them in a deterrence scenario, where peacetime jurisdictions and norms remain. It has been great to see the rapid assimilation of the situation and imaginative solutions produced during the exercise.”
Transformational Activities focusing on NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force (NAGSF); special operations forces command and control (C2); the gender perspective; resilience; and medical consultation, command and control (C3) capabilities were amongst the highlights of the CAX/CPX.
Lieutenant General Pierre Gillet, Commander Rapid Reaction Corps-France
Simulated press conference at the Joint Warfare Centre
STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 was a distributed command post exercise with nine exercise locations in Europe, involving 18 different training audiences. The intricate exercise construct required extensive CIS coordination between different entities and the JWC.
Lieutenant Colonel Dieter Heumueller, Head of the JWC’s IM/C4 Branch, which is a NATO shorthand for Information Management and Command, Control, Computer and Communication, explained that a JWC-led Joint CIS Control Centre (JCCC) had been operational to support the exercise since October 4.
“The aim was to have robust C2 structure over all relevant CIS and IM related matters, and to ensure the CIS information environment was fully operational, tested, and validated before the STARTEX. During the execution phase, the JCCC provided daily situational awareness and impact analysis to the Exercise Director.”
The participants to the JCCC included subject matter experts from NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) Squadron Stavanger (NCST), the JWC’s CAX and IKM teams, as well as liaison officers representing the training audiences.
Several distinguished visitors came to the JWC to observe and support the deterrence-focused exercise including General Éric Bellot des Minières, Inspector General of the French Army; Vice Admiral Nicolas Vaujour, Chief of Operations at the French Joint Headquarters; Major General Flemming Mathiasen, Commander Multinational Division North, and Lieutenant General Roger L. Cloutier Jr., Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command (LANDCOM).
General Éric Bellot des Minières, Inspector General of the French Army, visited the Joint Warfare Centre to observe the exercise
Major General Malinowski and Major General Flemming Mathiasen, Commander Multinational Division North
Lieutenant General Roger L. Cloutier Jr. (left), Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command, with Colonel Adam Lackey, JWC's Programme Director 1
Lieutenant Colonel James Rossell (middle), the JWC’s lead planner for STJU21
The Joint Warfare Centre's Exercise Control (EXCON) Forward at Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, including the members of the advisory team
General Jörg Vollmer, Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, and the Officer Conducting the Exercise (OCE)
Exercise participants at the Joint Warfare Centre
EXERCISE STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 AT A GLANCE
- What: Major computer-assisted command post exercise (CAX/CPX).
- When: From October 19-28, 2021.
- Who: Around 5,000 participants from 26 NATO and two partner countries (Finland and Sweden), involving 18 different training audiences.
- Location: Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Norway (two locations), Poland, UK.
- Objective: To train and evaluate NATO Response Force 2022 (NRF22) and several other NATO entities in planning and conducting deterrence operations below the threshold of Article 5, ensuring allied and partner forces’ readiness, responsiveness, and interoperability.
- Director: Major General Piotr Malinowski, Commander of the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), serves as the Officer Directing the Exercise (ODE), with General Tod D. Wolters, SACEUR, as the Officer Scheduling the Exercise (OSE), and General Jörg Vollmer, Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), as the Officer Conducting the Exercise (OCE).
STEADFAST JUPITER 2021 TRAINING AUDIENCES
- Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum and the Joint Logistics Support Group Brunssum
- Allied Land Command, Allied Maritime Command, Allied Air Command and NATO Military Cyber Operations Centre
- NATO Special Operations Headquarters
- Headquarters Rapid Reaction Corps-France and Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast
- NATO Joint Force Air Component
- United Kingdom Strike Force (providing the maritime component command)
- The Italian Special Forces Component Command
- NATO Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Reachback Element, CBRN Joint Assessment Team and NATO's Combined Joint CBRN Defence Task Force
- Multinational CIMIC Group
- Norwegian National Joint Headquarters
- NATO Communications and Information Systems Group