On 08 June 2016, the Chief of Staff (COS) for Allied Command Transformation (ACT) – Air Marshal Graham Stacey – visited the JALLC.
Based in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, ACT is the JALLC's superior command. The aim of the visit was to provide Air Marshal Stacey with an overview of JALLC’s Programme of Work, areas of interest, and the ongoing status of current Projects.
In a very informative working level discussion, ACT's Chief of Staff shared his innovative perspective of the way ahead for ACT and NATO's transformation in general with the JALLC's Command Group. Air Marshal Stacey also used this opportunity to address all of the JALLC staff in a general meeting. In this setting he expressed his appreciation for the analytical work being done at the JALLC. As a passionate believer in the Lessons Learned process, Air Marshal Stacey referred to the work the JALLC does as adding value to the Alliance in bridging NATO's operations and exercises with its policies and doctrine
His final message to the staff was: “The Alliance must be a peoples’ learning Organization, and the JALLC is critical in that process”.
On 30 and 31 May 2016 the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Atlantic Command Transformation (ACT) – Air Commodore Ralph Reefman – visited the JALLC.The purpose of the visit was to provide Air Commodore Reefman with an overview of the JALLC's mission, tasks, and activities, followed by working level discussions on how the JALLC can support the Air Commodore in his future assignment as Assistant Chief of Staff Defence Planning at Allied Command Transformation.
During the two-day visit, Air Commodore Refeeman participated in a JALLC Project Management Board meeting regarding the Strategic Assessment of the NATO Exercise Programme: a JALLC analysis project which is currently being conducted and for which he is the customer. During the meeting, he provided useful feedback and input which will go on to help shape the project findings. Customer engagement is an important part of the analysis process of all JALLC analysis projects and the JALLC's project teams always appreciate the opportunity to engage directly with their customers as often as possible to ensure the quality and usefulness of the JALLC's analysis products. You can find out more about how the JALLC conducts Joint Analysis by following this link.
Air Commodore Reefman valued the way the Strategic Assessment of the NATO Exercise Programme analysis is developing, referring to the hard intellectual work and team spirit of the project team.
April and May have been an exceptional months for the JALLC in terms of our reports being commended and endorsed. Indeed, of particular note is the ICRC’s reference to the good work done by the JALLC in support of NATO's efforts to reduce civilian casualties. But also our work on NATO's Support to Personnel, the NATO Exercise Reporting Process, and on the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force has been well received. The JALLC also hosted two prominent working group meetings and published reports on Regional Focus and on how NATO works with Non-NATO Entities in its Crisis Response Planning.
The JALLC always strives to meet its customer’s requirements and NATO's transformational needs. It is therefore encouraging to note how many of our reports have recently been well received. I am proud to say that in the last month I have received four letters commending/endorsing the work done by the JALLC on projects from our 2015 and 2016 Programme’s of Work: NATO's Support to Personnel (February 2015); The NATO Exercise Reporting Process (March 2015); Protection of Civilians (June 2015); and NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (February 2016). With six new and interesting projects currently in the JALLC's pipeline, I feel confident in the future of the JALLC's joint analysis capability and its ability to deliver relevant and useful products, contributing to the transformation of the Alliance.
We have also hosted two very interesting working group meetings. From 26 to 29 April 2016, the JALLC organized, supported, and hosted the Graduated Readiness Forces (Land) Headquarters Lessons Learned Working Group. The meeting, brought together representatives from various NATO HQs and focussed on the Trident Jaguar exercise series, including the JALLC's support to exercises and the importance of using the NATO Lessons Learned Portal and the NATO EXTRA Portal to ensure valuable lessons are identified and learned.
From 09 to 13 May, the JALLC hosted the ACO Strategic Management Workshop which drew together management planners from ACO and beyond and focussed on the development of analysis and risk management skills.
I was honoured to attend the Distinguished Visitors Day of the Trident Jaguar 2016 exercise that took place mid-May in Istanbul, Turkey. The exercise is designed to train, exercise, evaluate, and certify the NATO HQs in their various roles. During my visit, I observed how a NATO Smaller Joint Operation was led during the execution phase of the exercise. I also met with my project team as well as with the Commander of the Joint Warfare Centre and the Director of the Command and Control Centre of Excellence, to discuss the current status of the JALLC’s Trident Jaguar related project. I’m looking forward to the close cooperation with these two organizations that will come from this project.
We have already started planning for this year’s NATO Lessons Learned Conference (NLLC) 2016, the theme of which will be: The Future of Lessons Learned: Improvement and Innovations. Watch out for the Calling Letter for the conference and the Preliminary Agenda which is already shaping up to promise an interesting and productive conference.
"The Future of Lessons Learned: Improvement and Innovation"
The 13th NATO Lessons Learned Conference will be held from 29 to 30 November 2016 at the Portuguese Military Academy, Amadora, Portugal. Mark your calendars.
The aim of this Conference is to assess how NATO’s Lessons Learned Capability supports the Alliance’s ability for improvement and innovation.
On 25 May 2016, representatives from the UK’s HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) Maritime Staff Element visited the JALLC during their deployment to Portugal for Exercise ARRCADE DREADNOUGHT 2016. The HQ ARRC delegation was welcomed by Group Captain Adrian Hill, Head of the JALLC's Exercises, Training, and Experimentation Division.
During the visit, representatives from both organizations were able to exchange information and ideas particularly with regard to the HQ ARRC’s experience as a NATO Force Structure (NFS) Joint Task Force (JTF) HQ. The presentations and ensuing discussions were of particular relevance to the JALLC's ongoing project to develop an NFS JTF HQ Handbook to guide NATO’s Graduated Readiness Force (Land) (GRF(L)) HQs in implementing the NFS JTF HQConcept. The visit also presented the opportunity to develop and further strengthen the JALLC/HQ ARRC mutual relationship.
On 18 May 2016 a delegation of NATO's Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) - Centre of Excellence (CCOE) visited the JALLC. The CCOE delegation was comprised of the Centre’s Director, Colonel Roel Been (Dutch Army) and Branch Chief/Lessons Learned & Development, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson Lars Cramer (Danish Air Force). The delegation was welcomed by Commander JALLC, Brigadier General Mircea Mîndrescu.
The purpose of the visit was to explore the possibility of fostering a closer working relationship between the JALLC and the CCOE. Cooperation between the two organizations would benefit not only both groups as well as the whole NATO Organization.
Discussions centred on a recent JALLC analytical study, concerning NATO's interaction with Non-Military Organizations (NMOs) during military operations. The findings from that study were incorporated by the CCOE’s staff into the revised CCOE functional planning guide. These guidelines will be used in future NATO exercises.
The CCOE, located in The Hague, The Netherlands was founded in 2001 to serve as a conduit for civil-military cooperation. In 2007, the North Atlantic Council granted the CCOE the status of a NATO accredited Centre of Exellence. The three core functions of CCOE are civil-military liaison, support to the force, and to support to civil actors and their environment.
COM JALLC declared the discussions productive and emphasized the numerous opportunities of partnering the CCOE's Civil-Military interaction expertise with the JALLC's analytic skills. The JALLC looks forward to working with the CCOE in future endeavours.
From 09 to 13 May, the JALLC hosted Allied Command Operation’s (ACO) Strategic Management workshop which was aimed at improving staff skills in risk and issue management. Wing Commander Jon Pugh, Strategic Management Section head at SHAPE had this to report:
"It’s not supposed to rain in Lisbon in the middle of May…but it poured down. This was a risk no one saw coming. Fitting then that during this week ACO’s Strategic Management workshop took place at JALLC to improve staff skills in Risk and Issue management."
The workshop drew together military and civilian management planning staffs from across ACO in order to enhance analysis and management skills sets; share best practice and common approaches; and drive the development of strategic management plans for the coming years. All ACO HQs took part in this SHAPE-led event. Also, notably, colleagues from HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation made the journey across the Atlantic, as part of continued efforts to drive coherence into the planning methodologies of the supporting and supported strategic commands.
The JALLC not only offered to host the event, but also contributed a wealth of analysis experience and training expertise. Far from being a death by PowerPoint, the JALLC facilitated training sessions throughout the week using innovative approaches to training, making full use of bowls, balls, sticks, alternative analysis, cognitive bias, audience participation, and quite a few post-it notes! The atmosphere was conducive to some vigorous discussion, brainstorming, and the enthusiastic participation of all.
The workshop outcome was very positive, with tangible development of the ACO Strategic Management Process, follow-on tasks for the HQs’ development of Strategic Management Planning products, shared knowledge and understanding, and enhanced skill sets of Strategic Management staffs. ACO is very grateful for the support from the JALLC in making this workshop a success. …And next time we will have a better mitigation plan for the weather.