United States Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh was at NATO's Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway, on Monday to meet with leaders and soldiers and to assess the U.S. Army's manning and support to NATO.
Secretary McHugh was welcomed by German Army Major General Erhard Buehler, Commander JWC, and U.S. Air Force Brigadier General John W. Doucette, the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff.
During a meeting with Major General Buehler, Secretary McHugh had comprehensive discussions about JWC's structure, mission and current activities. The discussions focused on JWC's unique capabilities as NATO's premier operational-level training centre for full spectrum joint operational level warfare.
The Centre's multinational staff detailed to Secretary McHugh how JWC delivers training and exercises for the NATO Command and Force Structures, following a 15-month planning timeline, and using turn-key facilities and advanced technologies.
"JWC is NATO's brain trust for modelling and simulation, as well as launching new simulation capabilities," said Brigadier General Doucette, referring to the Centre's IT capabilities.
In addition to exercises, JWC's warfare capacity, its contributions to the lessons learned process and other transformational elements were also outlined during the briefing.
"NATO is a vital force with an eye to the future," Secretary McHugh said. "The value of what's being done at JWC is self-evident, and helps provide a better understanding of NATO's training efforts and the ability to better assess our place in this structure to improve areas of assistance and cooperation between the U.S. and our NATO Allies.”
NATO's current priority is providing training for ongoing operations, such as International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) training event (ISAF TE 14/01) which is currently taking place at the JWC until 13 June.
Secretary McHugh also observed training at JWC's state-of-the-art training facility and met with exercise participants. The participants included the Training Audience and the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who fulfil the role of trainers. The SMEs come directly from the Afghanistan theatre and those who recently redeployed from the two theatre headquarters (ISAF and ISAF Joint Command). Additionally, the Afghan officials and police coming from Afghan Ministries of Interior and Defence, and the National Military Command Centre, are here to support the exercise.
Secretary McHugh said he had great appreciation for the Afghan Security Forces' professionalism and partnership, which is built on a significant amount of sacrifice.
During the visit, U.S. Army personnel from the JWC staff and those participating in ISAF TE 14/01 had the opportunity to meet with Secretary McHugh where he thanked them for their valuable service and commitment.
Check JWC's Facebook page for more pictures of the ceremony: facebook.com/NATO.JWC