STAVANGER, Norway – Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander of the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), welcomed Admiral Joachim Rühle, Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), during his first visit to the JWC on August 19, 2021.
The visit began with a series of mission briefings in the Harald Haarfagre Auditorium, focusing on the JWC’s unique role in bridging Operations and Transformation, while examining the Centre’s new initiatives in collective training and warfare development, which include, amongst others, the 2021 Future Exercise Support Capability Study, and the wargame design capability.
Admiral Rühle, Rear Admiral Kaack, and their respective staffs then discussed the ongoing planning efforts for the upcoming major computer-assisted command post exercise (CAX/CPX) STEADFAST JUPITER 2022, which will be directed by the JWC next year.
The visit programme continued with a guided tour of the Centre's state-of-the-art training facility, including a visit to the live TV studio.
In addition to the comprehensive briefing on the JWC’s media simulation capabilities, Admiral Rühle also received a briefing on JWC Vision 2025, with a specific focus on warfare development in JWC-directed exercises, under the maxim, “making NATO better”.
(From left) Brigadier General Douglas K. Clark, Admiral Joachim Rühle, Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commodore Knut Rief Armo
At the end of his visit, Laura Loflin DuBois, JWC exercise planner and TV producer, conducted an interview with Admiral Rühle for a special edition of the “Three Swords News”.
Admiral Rühle said that his visit to the JWC had been excellent; he was very impressed by the facilities and the staff, and he enjoyed his tour.
The Admiral underlined that he clearly saw the Joint Warfare Centre spearheading innovative thinking and future modelling and simulation technologies within NATO.
“I think that is what we, the warfighters, need,” Admiral Rühle said, adding: “We must be prepared for the modern 21st century warfare. The command post exercises directed by the JWC make the leaders of today and tomorrow think about what they need in order to be successful for tomorrow’s war. That is essential, and that could only be trained in computer-assisted, command post exercises.”
Admiral Rühle added: “All my staff are very well trained in their respective national warfighting and experimentation areas. But when it comes to bringing them together and following a coordinated path, that needs a lot of expertise and a lot of knowledge, and that is exactly what I expect from the Joint Warfare Centre and what they deliver.”
Reflecting on the visit, Rear Admiral Kaack said: “It was a great pleasure for me to welcome Admiral Rühle to the JWC today. The visit was a great opportunity to showcase the JWC’s crucial work to ensure the readiness, effectiveness, and interoperability of all NATO Forces through complex exercises and warfare development. Additionally, we discussed many of the innovative changes the JWC is making, such as our nascent wargame design capability and future exercise support capability study,” Rear Admiral Kaack said.
Admiral Rühle took over as Chief of Staff of SHAPE on September 30, 2020.
As NATO’s footprint in the Northern European region, the Joint Warfare Centre is responsible for planning, developing, and delivering operational- and strategic-level training and exercises that challenge NATO Command and Force Structure headquarters, while simultaneously supporting NATO warfare development through doctrine, concept development, innovation, and experimentation efforts.
In doing so, the JWC is at the heart of NATO’s Transformational activities, ensuring the relevance of the NATO Command and Force Structure headquarters in a rapidly evolving and complex global security environment.