On 06 December 2016, Vice Chief of Staff (VCOS) of the Brazilian Air Force – Air Lieutenant Brigadier Raúl Botelho - visited the JALLC with a high level delegation of the Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian Embassy attaché. The goal of the Brazilian Delegation was to understand the NATO Lessons Learned Process, its procedures and information sharing tools, and the way the JALLC manages its Program Of Work. The VCOS visit to the JALLC was part of a larger tour to Portugal.
The visiting party was received by the JALLC's new Commander, Brigadier-General Mário Barreto (Portuguese Air Force) for a courtesy office call and a presentation about the JALLC and its approach to the NATO Lessons Learned process.
Air Lieutenant Brigadier Botelho signed the JALLC book of Honour and expressed his satisfaction for having had the opportunity to witness how NATO works the area of Lessons Learned, a subject he considers paramount for any military organization to master, in order to be able to adapt and evolve, in a world with a very challenging security situation.
On 30 November 2016, the JALLC hosted the second and final day of the NATO Lessons Learned Conference, at the Portuguese Military Academy in Amadora, Lisbon. Conference participants continued to discuss topics around the conference theme: The Future of Lessons Learned: Innovation and Improvement.
The day was opened by the JALLC’s Commander, Brigadier General Mário Barreto (PRT Air Force) referring to Supreme Allied Commander Transformation’s opening remarks the day before regarding the power of learning lessons as a key force multiplier for the Alliance. The Brigadier General went on to underline that standardization is what NATO is known for, but recognized that improvement is needed with specific regard to the Lessons Learned Process. The panel members then briefed the audience on NATO’s Lessons Learned support to Nations. For example, the JALLC’s Principal Operational Research Analyst noted that NATO should improve the use of its formal tools, such as the NATO Lessons Learned Portal (NLLP), but should remember to foster more informal, flexible interaction and sharing of ideas and experiences among the Nations.
The briefings were followed by an interactive and fruitful exchange between the panel members and the audience, which generated more ideas for the improvement of the Lessons Learned Process. In particular, the need for validation, the possibility of providing feedback to Nations contributing to the NLLP, and the importance of interoperability (including in the cyber domain) were discussed.
The second panel of the day covered the topic of how to improve interaction between NATO and its Centres of Excellence (COEs). The key speaker, Captain Renée van Pamelen-Hollenberg, Director Command and Control (C2) COE, began by referring to Einstein’s famous definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – and challenged the Lessons Learned Community to avoid falling into that trap. She spoke about how NATO COEs can support the Alliance in its transformation, acting as agents of change, promoting new concepts, and helping different entities achieve the most effective Lessons Learned Process. She was followed by representatives from four other COEs: Confined and Shallow Waters (CSW), Modelling and Simulation, Mountain Warfare, and Human Intelligence (HUMINT). Each spoke about the challenges they face in implementing the Lessons Learned Process, and their solutions: these include assessing and improving future Joint Analysis Requirements, mobilizing Communities of Interest, running workshops on the Lessons Learned Process, and many others. Finally, Commander Cesar Correia (HQ SACT CAPDEV CEI TNB COE Section) summed up the relationship between COEs and the Alliance as being one of mutual benefit. This relationship must be fostered if innovation and improvement are to be secured for the future of the Alliance.
The final panel of the day, and of the conference, focussed on Member Nations’ Lessons Learned support to NATO. Opening the panel, key speaker Major General (Ret) Eric Roussel (FRA Army) presented the Lessons Learned from three French operations carried out in Africa between 2013 and the present day: Operation Serval, Operation Sangaris, and Operation Barkhane. He underlined the need for the Alliance to improve its role as a facilitator for the exchange of these as well as other National Observations and Lessons. Following this introduction, panel members went on to provide insights into their Nations’ or organizations’ Lessons Learned Processes. For example, Commander Todd Copeland (Joint Lessons Learned Division (formerly Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis division)) highlighted their Joint Lessons Learned Information System (JLLIS) and Lieutenant Colonel Hesse provided a quick overview of Germany’s Lessons Learned related activities and results.
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral Manfred Nielson (DEU Navy), closed the conference, confirming that, “Learning Lessons is an essential part of the continuous adaptation, innovation, and transformation of the Alliance.” He went on to thank the JALLC for its efforts in organizing and hosting the conference, and confirmed that the JALLC will continue to play a crucial role in shaping NATO’s future.
Finally, the JALLC’s Commander, Brigadier General Mário Barreto, summed up the conference in his closing remarks, thanking everyone involved for their contribution and reminding the audience that, “We are the future of the Lessons Learned Process and it is the responsibility of us all to contribute to that future.”
On 29 November 2016, the 13th edition of the NATO Lessons Learned Conference was attended by presenters and guests from NATO and non-NATO nations as well as from various organizations and NGOs. Participants were welcomed by the JALLC's Commander, Brigadier General Mário Barreto (Portuguese Air Force). The theme of this year’s conference is, “The Future of Lessons Learned: Innovation and Improvement” which will be discussed and explored by NATO's Lessons Learned Community during a series of compelling briefings and panel discussions.
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), General Denis Mercier (French Air Force), opened the conference by video, stating that, “Learning lessons is a starting point for [NATO's] Transformation. Transformation, however, is not an end in itself but rather a process that delivers a tangible output: NATO's posture.”
After some introductory words by the JALLC's Commander, the conference then kicked off with two NATO updates, the first of which was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Scarabotto (HQ SACT CAPDEV CEI IDLL). He began by presenting an overview of where the NATO Lessons Learned Process currently stands, providing suggestions on how to move forward to ensure the Alliance’s transformation. Lieutenant Colonel Scarabotto further noted that NATO's Lessons Learned Process faces the challenge of capturing lessons throughout the wide array of training events, exercises, and operations. Finally, he suggested the way ahead may be to share our Lessons Learned more effectively with each other, utilize the same process, and ensure shared awareness of each other’s Lessons Learned.
The second update was presented by Brigadier General Von Sandrart (SHAPE ACOS J7) who focused on Lessons Learned from the perspective of Allied Command Operations (ACO). Although NATO, in terms of both strategic commands, faces many challenges, as, the Brigadier General stated, “We can mitigate these challenges and be better, but it is all about working together and not against one another.” NATO increasing its efforts in this area will allow the Alliance to improve and focus on the strategic level in the changing global security threat environment. Finally, he suggested that an exercise could be developed, as a high priority, that would allow NGOs to participate, thereby increasing NATO's civil-military cooperation.
The updates were followed by the conference’s first panel which covered SACT's six key focus areas— Command and Control (C2), Logistics and Sustainability, Training and Exercises, Partnerships, Capabilities, and Human Resources—and how key lessons can be used to cultivate the transformational mindset and ultimately build NATO's capabilities. Lieutenant General Lofgren (HQ SACT DCOS CAPDEV), key speaker of the panel, emphasized that NATO needs to build on the momentum created by people attending exercises through capturing lessons and ensuring an integrative approach to transformation. Each of the panel members then spoke on a different key focus area. For example, Lieutenant Colonel Szmuck (HQ SACT JFT JETE) highlighted NATO's integration of previous exercises into current and future training missions and Colonel Malessa (HQ SACT CAPDEV C2DS) spoke on the future of C2 and a closer relationship between ACO and Allied Command Transformation in order to work towards the same vision.
The NATO Readiness Action Plan (RAP) was the topic of the second panel which was introduced by Brigadier General Corell (HQ MND SE) who spoke on the importance of a strong training process for the staff tasked with the setup of a new HQ. Among the other panel members, Mr Mark Laity (STRATCOM SHAPE P1) discussed the value that STRATCOM has gained from incorporating Lessons Learned and the way forward to continue increasing the capability and Lieutenant Colonel Lis (DTC PAF) and Colonel Pappal (US CALL) gave their Nations’ perspectives on Exercise ANAKONDA-16.
The first day of the conference closed with the third panel, which was presented by Professor John Louth from the Royal United Services Institute and Mr Enrique Martin from E&Q Engineering who gave the audience their insights on Lessons Learned from their respective organizations’ perspective.
On 29 November 2016, the Signing Ceremony for the NATO Force Structure (NFS) Joint Task Force (JTF) HQ Handbook took place at the 2016 NATO Lessons Learned Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Handbook was signed by Brigadier General Mário Barreto, Commander of the JALLC, Captain Reneé van Pamelen-Hollenberg, Director NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (C2COE), and Lieutenant Colonel Jacek Ropejko, Branch Chief, Quality Assurance (Lessons Learned) of the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC). Lieutenant Colonel Ropejko was representing Major General Andrzej Reudowicz, Commander of the JWC. The Signing Ceremony marked the official launch of the Handbook.
The NFS JTF HQ Handbook is the result of a three-year cooperative effort between the JALLC, the JWC, and the C2COE. It combines observations, insights, and analysis from the TRIDENT JAGUAR series of NATO exercises, which took place in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The exercises aimed to test the readiness of NATO’s Graduated Readiness Forces (Land) to perform as JTF HQs, a role that was assigned to them as part of the framework for a new NATO Command Structure agreed at the Lisbon Summit in 2010. As the NATO transformational and operational communities developed the NFS JTF HQ concept, commanders, staff officers, subject matter experts, and analysts identified good practices and areas for further study and reflection.
Speaking at the Signing Ceremony, Brigadier General Barreto said: “It is a pleasure and an honour to sign this Handbook, which is an example of true teamwork between the JALLC, the JWC, and the C2COE. My best congratulations go to the authors and everyone else involved in its production.”
On 21 October 2016, Vice Chief of Staff (VCOS) for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) – Lieutenant General Hugues Delort-Laval (French Army)–visited the JALLC. Although LTG Delort-Laval only started his post as VCOS SHAPE on 01 November he took time out of his busy schedule prior to his appointment to tour some of the important entities in the NATO Command structure to better understand their capabilities and how they work within the Alliance.
The JALLC was the last entity to be visited and, as the JALLC has always maintained close working relations supporting SHAPE, it was deemed important by LTG Yakovleff, the outgoing VCOS SHAPE, to have his successor visiting the JALLC.
During this very informative first visit to the JALLC, speaking to the JALLC's command group and other participants, LTG Delort-Laval noted in particular the value that the JALLC contributes to Allied Command Operations (ACO) and NATO in general and shared his intent to ensure that ACO will be continue to work closely with the JALLC.
On 11 October 2016 the JALLC hosted a seminar on “Research Methods in Defence” in cooperation with the London-based think tank: Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). The seminar was conducted by two researchers from RUSI: Professor John Louth and Dr Lauren Twort at the JALLC’s facilities in Lisbon, Portugal.
During the seminar RUSI's Professor Louth showed the audience how a fully-integrated research programme for a research question—defined in cooperation with the audience—could be developed. A broad range of topics regarding ways and means to approach defence research were then covered by the RUSI speakers during the seminar including the integration of project management and research methodologies, the application of qualitative and quantitative methods, the embedding of stakeholder management, and the assessment of value and impact, and RUSI's best practices in analysis and policy advice were also shared with the audience.
The seminar forms part of the RUSI-JALLC partnership framework agreed in May 2016, which includes a workshop covering JALLC project themes, two lectures on contemporary, strategic-level defence and security topics, and a major corporate RUSI membership for the JALLC. Not only JALLC civilian and military staff members attended the seminar, but also participants from the Portuguese defence community.
Commenting on the successful delivery of the Research Method in Defence seminar, the JALLC's Commander, Brigadier General Mário Barreto (Portuguese Airforce) stated:
“The seminar has provided the participants with valuable insights into the best-practices of defence analysis and policy advice as applied by one of the world’s most recognized think tanks. It allowed the participants to critically reflect on their own approaches to defence analysis and policy advice and offered important food for thought how to improve them.”
From 26 to 30 September 2016 the JALLC held the autumn edition of the JALLC Analyst Training Course (JATC). The course is held twice a year at the JALLC's facilitates in Lisbon, Portugal and has been developed to train JALLC newcomers (civilian and military) in their new position as JALLC analysts. A maximum of 12-14 participants can attend each JATC with JALLC members having priority over participants external to the JALLC—and even NATO sometimes—who may wish to attend this very popular course. The aim of this one-week, intensive training programme is to introduce the participants to the JALLC Project Approach (JPA) as well as to the analysis techniques, processes, and editorial standards applied at the JALLC. More information on the course is available here.
This iteration of the JATC saw a total of 14 participants take part from the JALLC, Allied Land Command, and from Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis. The week was not only an intensive one for the participants—eight hours a day—, but also for the JALLC's team of civilian research analysts, operations analysts, and the editor, who all contributed to the course. The JALLC's analysts and editor are responsible for developing and delivering the training modules. The intensive interaction with the JALLC's JATC instructor team gives participants the chance to learn from experienced experts and benefit from the different perspectives and insights that each instructor brings to the course. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with the instructors making the sessions interesting, interactive, and practical.
The JATC is designed not only to ensure that new JALLC analysts can perform their jobs at the JALLC, but also to give attending non-JALLC participants the opportunity to learn about the JALLC, its activities, and capabilities, as well as to learn and practice analysis techniques. The next edition of the JATC will be held in the first semester of 2017.
The JALLC published second edition of its new look online magazine, The Explorer, this month which celebrates the arrival of the JALLC's new Commander, Brigadier-General Mário Barreto (Portuguese Air Force) with a special two page photo-feature article on the assumption of command ceremony that took place on 19 August. The visit of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), Admiral Manfred Nielson’s (German Navy), is also featured in this edition together with an interview with Mr Clovis Autin, who joined the JALLC earlier this year as a (civilian) operational research analyst. In the interview, Mr Autin talks about settling into life at the JALLC and Lisbon.
As always, The Explorer highlights some interesting JALLC analysis projects including a project on the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force, NATO's Regional Focus initiative, and a project that identified ways to improve non-military actors’ contributions to NATO's crisis response planning. In particular, in this edition you can read about one of the JALLC's most successful recent projects which looked into how ISAF managed to reduce incidents of civilian casualties. You can read more about any JALLC analysis projects and download factsheets which summarize the key findings from the JALLC's reports .
The JALLC's training and education capabilities are always a feature in The Explorer. This edition of The Explorer highlights an example of the training the JALLC developed together with Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) Joint Force Trainer: the Lessons Learned Officers of Primary Responsibility (LLOPR) course. The course, offered in an online format, is available on the Joint Advanced Distribution platform .
We hope you enjoy reading this edition of The Explorer. The next edition will be published at the end of the year and will feature the upcoming NATO Lessons Learned Conference which will take place on 29-30 November in Lisbon, Portugal as well as many other interesting articles. You can find out more about the NATO Lessons Learned Conference .
On the 19th of August 2016, Portuguese Air Force Brigadier-General Mário Barreto assumed command of the JALLC during a formal ceremony over which Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), Admiral Manfred Nielson (German Navy), presided.
Admiral Nielson, had flown in from Virginia (United States) to Portugal, especially for the ceremony. The Portuguese Chief of Defence, General Pina Monteiro, was also present at the ceremony together with diplomatic representatives from nine different NATO Nations and several high-ranking military officers from all three services - Navy, Army and Air Force - of the Host Nation, Portugal.
This is the first time that a Portuguese General Officer has taken command of the JALLC, NATO's Lead Agent for Joint Analysis. Brigadier-General Barreto will command the JALLC for the next three years.
On 21 July 2016, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Admiral Manfred Nielson (German Navy) honoured the JALLC with a visit. Admiral Nielson was recently appointed to his post at ACT in April 2016 and took time out of his busy schedule to gain a more in depth understanding of the JALLC. DSACT was briefed by the command group and key staff on the JALLC’s ’s mission, tasks, and activities after which he took the time to present his vision for the future of the JALLC and its position in Allied Command Transformation (ACT).
In his talk with JALLC staff he stated that although the JALLC’s activities are perhaps not a daily focus for HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation staff, he recognized the critical role the JALLC plays in developing and improving NATO capabilities and as such highlighted key areas of importance for the JALLC-ACT relationship going forwards including improved prioritization, direction and guidance with regard to the JALLC’s tasked Joint Analysis tasks.
The audience asked DSACT to give his perspective on Supreme Allied Commander Transformation’s (SACT) own key focus areas (Command and Control, Logistics and Sustainment, Training, Partnerships, Manpower, and Capabilities) as stated during a visit by SACT in November last year. Admiral Nielson responded by explaining that he saw the key focus areas as a, Commander’s Intent and that these key focus areas would be expanded upon in due course this year. In this respect DSACT highlighted a couple of the key focus areas including with regard to Logistics and Sustainment; he mentioned the thinking surrounding how the military (in general) will be able to sustain their logistics requirements in the long term and whether industry might have a greater role to play in certain aspects of providing this capability and possible other capabilities in the future.
The visit ended with DSACT thanking the JALLC for its work and contribution to the transformation of the Alliance.
The JALLC recently published the latest edition of its online magazine, The Explorer. This new look magazine will contain articles on: projects the JALLC has completed and is working on; interesting events that have taken place at the JALLC; the latest joint analysis techniques being applied by our analysts; and updates from the Lessons Learned Community. Each edition will include a feature article and interviews with JALLC members and/or members of the Lessons Learned community in general.
In this edition, we feature the NATO Lessons Learned Conference; looking back at the 2015 conference and forward to the 2016 conference which takes place on 29 and 30 November this year. We also discuss the revision to the JALLC’s project management approach which looks set to guarantee even more efficient and effective joint analysis projects, and a new cooperation with the Royal United Services Institute for Defence (RUSI) ensuring the JALLC remains at the centre of thinking in terms of global defence and security.
We hope our readers enjoy this edition and the new look magazine. The next edition is due out at the end of September and will feature interviews with the JALLC’s new Commander and Chief of Staff.
The NATO Exercise Training, Reporting and Analysis (EXTRA) Portal recently passed a landmark 500 000th website hit; a truly notable achievement for the Alliance’s single centralized exercise and training-related information sharing platform. Developed throughout 2014 by the JALLC, the NATO EXTRA Portal was launched just 18 months ago in January 2015 with the aim of making the job of NATO exercise planners and all those involved in exercises, training, reporting and analysis much easier by providing immediate and easy access to all exercise and training-related information such as NATO Exercise Lessons Identified Action Lists (LIAL), Final Exercise Reports (FER), First Impression Reports (FIR), Exercise Specifications (EXSPEC) and Exercise Plans (EXPLAN) as well as all essential exercise planning directives and documentation.
The NATO EXTRA Portal also has a number of useful additional features such as links to other HQ web-sites, an on-line forum for the NATO EXTRA Community of Interest, and Lesson Learned Staff Officer contact lists for NATO Command Structure and NATO Force Structure Commands, HQs, Centres and other entities.
In May 2016, the NATO EXTRA Portal became an important feature of the newly established NATO Exercise Reporting and Handling of Lessons process, when it was adopted for use as the single central location for the upload and management of all NATO Exercise LIALs. Used to its full potential, the NATO EXTRA Portal will undoubtedly play a key role in the improvement of future NATO exercises and training events and contribute significantly to Alliance transformation. The NATO EXTRA Portal currently contains web-pages for 16 active and 13 archived exercises.
In the summer of 2016, ownership and management of the NATO EXTRA Portal will transition from the JALLC to Joint Force Trainer in HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, who will take the lead in ensuring the Portal’s true potential is maximised in the future.
Would you like to read more about the NATO EXTRA Portal? A full JALLC Report detailing the development and testing of the EXTRA Portal as well as an EXTRA Portal User Manual can be found in the NATO Lessons Learned Portal on the NS WAN. Or to read the unclassified NATO EXTRA Portal brochure.
On 18 July 2016, Major General Tim Bevis, UK Royal Marines, Director of the Operations and Planning Division of the International Military Staff (IMS) visited the JALLC. During his visit, Major General Bevis was briefed by the JALLC's command group and certain key members of staff on the JALLC's mission, tasks, and activities. The Major General also had the opportunity to exchange ideas with some of the JALLC's civilian and military analysts and learned about the status of several ongoing joint analysis projects. Special emphasis was placed on a recent study the JALLC conducted regarding NATO Crisis Management Exercise 2016; an exercise of particular interest for the IMS.
Major General Bevis was also briefed on theJALLC's activities with regard to NATO's Lessons Learned process and procedures, the JALLC's outreach engagement team, and the two online Lessons Learned platforms the JALLC is responsible for managing and maintaining: the NATO Lessons Learned Portal and the NATO Exercise Training and Analysis (EXTRA) Portal. Major General Bevis in particular praised the success of the NATO EXTRA Portal , which recently reached a landmark 500 000 hits since its launch in January 2015.
From 11 to 15 July 2016, NATO Joint Air Power specialists met at the JALLC’s facilities in Lisbon, Portugal in order to develop a common understanding of how the application of Joint Air Power supports NATO’s objectives. The outcome of the workshop is the first step in the development of a Joint Air Power Strategy for the Alliance.
During the workshop, participants exchanged views on the evolving security environment which requires the Alliance to maintain its ability to respond to crises while adapting its deterrence and defence posture and its ability to project stability. The participants analysed various aspects of the Joint Air Power capability, a capability that has proven to be an essential aspect of ensuring NATO achieves its three core tasks: collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security. In this respect, the workshop determined that, NATO’s Joint Air Power capability will need to evolve and adapt to meet future challenges and to ensure its four Strategic Military Effects: Deterrence; Protection; Containment; and Projection of Stability can be attained.
In its approach to Continuous Improvement, the JALLC must identify and monitor all processes, assess the information and requirements, and determine how each process contributes to a specific objective. In support of this effort, the JALLC identified a training objective in the area of Business Process Management (BPM) and the adoption of a common and recognisable modelling system – the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) – to define a standard format for JALLC's business processes in accordance with formal semantics.
Twelve participants have already attended and successfully completed this demanding, comprehensive, and enlightening course, which primarily focuses on support functions. The course is taught by BPM and BPMN certified instructors from the Rumos Advanced Studies School in Lisbon. It is a 70–hour instruction divided into five modules that spread across a four months period
The BPM and BPMN course is expected to help JALLC streamline and improve its business processes for greater operational efficiency and effectiveness, enable closer collaboration between business and Information Technology spheres, and provide better visibility and flexibility of the business processes.
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 Allied 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.
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.
From 26 to 28 April 2016, the JALLC hosted and supported the Annual meeting of the Graduated Readiness Forces (Land) (GRF(L)) HQ Lessons Learned Working Group (GRFL3WG). During the GRFL3WG meeting, which was conducted and Chaired by HQ Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), based in Izmir, Turkey, Lessons Learned subject matter experts (SME) from several of the represented NATO Commands and Centres had the opportunity to share their knowledge, experience, and expertise on learning from exercises and training events.
The members of the GRF(L) Lessons Learned Community of Interest paid special attention to the discussion surrounding their JTF HQ role and how they are capable of commanding joint operations of differing scales by providing deployable joint command and control capabilities alongside the capabilities within the NATO Command Structure.
The workshop brought together representatives from HQ Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum and HQ JFC Naples, the Joint Force Training Centre, the Joint Warfare Centre, and the JALLC, as well as representatives from LANDCOM and HQ Allied Air Command. The NATO Force Structure HQs were represented by NATO Deployable Corps (NRDC) Headquarters Greece, NRDC Italy, Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast, NRDC Spain, and the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
On 27 April 2016, the JALLC received a visit from NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, his Excellency Ambassador Sorin Ducaru. The JALLC Commander – Brigadier General Mircea Mîndrescu – presented the Centre as NATO's lead agent for Joint Analysis regarding operations, exercises, training and experiments. BGEN Mîndrescu also explained the JALLC's engagement in the collection and dissemination of NATO Lessons Learned through the NATO Lessons Learned Portal.
Among other subjects, JALLC analysts elaborated on the recent joint analysis project titled: Attack the Networks, which was requested by Ambassador Ducaru’s Department, and the JALLC study which analysed Cyber Defence Situation Awareness in NATO. The Ambassador, who follows cyber defence closely, was also interested in an update on the JALLC initiative to create a “NATO Cyber Defence Community of Interest” within the NATO Lessons Learned Portal, which has received inputs on the subject after recent exercises.
Ambassador Sorin Ducaru came to Lisbon to participate in the International Conference on Cyber Defence on 28 April 2016. He is responsible for providing support to the North Atlantic Council and for advising the Secretary General on the evolution of emerging security challenges, their potential impact on NATO's security, and the development of relevant policies and action plans. Additionally, the Ambassador directs the Emerging Security Challenges Division of the NATO International Staff and coordinates NATO's Science for Peace and Security Programme.
On 4 April 2016, the JALLC received the visit of his Excellency the Ambassador of United States of America to Portugal – Dr. Robert A. Sherman.
Throughout the visit the JALLC Commander - Brigadier-General Mircea Mîndrescu - explained the way NATO does joint analysis and the role of the JALLC in the Alliance’s Lessons Learned process.
The U.S. Ambassador was offered an inside view of several ongoing military joint analysis projects being conducted by the JALLC, during which he interacted with the various project managers.
In the words of Ambassador Sherman:
"We can only get better and make the world safer if we are willing, in a transparent way, to evaluate what we have done and make improvements for the future. The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre’s work is critically important to achieve that."
The U.S. Defence Attaché - Colonel Glenn Lemasters Jr. - accompanied the U.S. Ambassador during his Excellency’s visit to the JALLC.
On March 24, 2016, Admiral Manfred Nielson (German Armed Forces) took on the incumbency of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO's Allied Command for Transformation, in Norfolk – Virginia - USA. Admiral Nielson received the post from General Mirco Zuliani (Italian Air Force), in a signing ceremony presided by NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation - General Denis Mercier (French Air Force).
The Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is the upper echelon of command and control for the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC). ACT is an allied strategic headquarters, committed to preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states by leading the transformation of military structures, forces, capabilities, and doctrines to improve the military effectiveness of NATO.
Admiral Nielson comes to Allied Command Transformation after serving as Commander Joint Support Service Command of the Armed Forces of Germany.
On 18 March 2016, Rear Admiral Denis Bigot, SHAPE ACOS J9, visited the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), and was welcomed by Commander JALLC, Brigadier General Mircea Mîndrescu.
The aim of the visit was to inform RADM Bigot about the role of JALLC within NATO and the ability of the JALLC to support and contribute to NATO and nations. More specifically RADM Bigot was informed about the status of a project directly related to his area of interest and his organization.
After the office call with the Commander JALLC, RADM Bigot was provided a briefing covering an overview of JALLC activities, its mission, organization and processes. Next, both parties engaged in a dynamic discussion on subjects of mutual interest.
At the end of the visit the "Book of Honour" was signed by RADM Bigot and a group picture was taken.
On 2 and 3 March 2016, the JALLC organised and hosted the Centres of Excellence Programme of Work Workshop I at its facilities in Oeiras, Portugal.
This workshop was conducted by the Transformation Network Branch (TNB) of Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and brought together representatives from the headquarters of NATO as well as Supreme Allied Command Transformation, their subordinate commands, and all NATO accredited Centres of Excellence (COE). The intent was to promote early engagement of all participants in the 2017 Centres of Excellence Program of Work (POW) development cycle.
JALLC’s Chief of Staff, Colonel Jorge Gomes (Portuguese Army), opened the workshop by welcoming an audience of approximately 50 attendees. Participation was outstanding with representation from each of the 24 accredited/prospective COEs. All COEs presented on the support that they are providing to NATO as included in their 2016 POW. Additionally, all participating NATO Commands provided an initial overview of their early inputs to the 2017 COE POW while also providing feedback to the COEs regarding support received in 2015 and 2016.
The next workshop in the 2017 COE POW development cycle will take place in Norfolk, United States of America, on 21 and 22 June 2016.
On 4 February 2016, the JALLC received a visit from his Excellency, the Ambassador of Georgia, Mr. Beshidze Revaz.
During the Ambassador's visit, JALLC Commander, Brigadier General Mircea Mîndrescu, explained the process in which NATO conducts Joint Analysis as well as the JALLC's role in the Alliance's Lessons Learned process.
The Georgian Ambassador exchanged information about several programs that Georgia is engaged in with NATO including:
The NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC), providing the framework for close political dialog and cooperation in support of the country's reforms and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations;
The NATO Wales Summit's package of measures, which include a set of actions meant to strengthen Georgia's ability to defend itself and advance its preparations for membership;
The NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC), inaugurated in August 2015 by NATO's Secretary General.
When signing the JALLC's Book of Honour, Ambassador Revaz expressed his wishes for a deeper relationship between the JALLC and the Georgian Armed Forces.
Georgia has a special status with NATO's Partnership for Peace Program, being considered an "aspirant country" with the possibility of a full NATO membership in the future. Georgia was one of the largest non-NATO troop contributors to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
On 19 February 2016, the JALLC received 55 student officers from the Portuguese Navy´s Senior Officer Promotion Course 2015-2016 as they paid an educational visit to get to know more about NATO's lead agent for joint analysis. The student officers, mostly Navy First Lieutenants, were shown around the JALLC's facilities and briefed on Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned in NATO, the JALLC's activities, and how the JALLC operates.
These officers, who are entering a new phase of their military career, shifting the focus away from the tactical level to the more strategic level as are promoted from First Lieutenants to Lieutenant Commanders.
The student officers took the opportunity to directly address the JALLC's Chief-of-Staff, Colonel Jorge Barros Gomes, showing great interest in the JALLC's activities, asking many (technical) questions about the way the Alliance identifies, analyses, and implements lessons.
When signing the JALLC's Book of Honour, Course Director, Portuguese Navy Captain Carmona Sasseti iterated the importance of this visit in the education of future Navy Commanders.
On 11 February 2016 a delegation of the internationally recognized, London-based think tank Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) visited the JALLC. RUSI researchers Professor John Louth (Director, Defence, Industries and Society Programme), Professor Trevor Taylor (Professorial Research Fellow, Defence, Industries and Society Programme), and Ms Gabriela Thompson (Researcher, Defence, Industries and Society Programme) were welcomed by the JALLC's Commander Brigadier General Mircea Mîndrescu (Romanian Army).
The purpose of the visit was to explore a future relationship between the JALLC and RUSI to the benefit of both organizations and NATO in general. Reflecting on the thoughtful discussion during the visit, BG Mîndrescu pointed out
“Both the JALLC and RUSI are important contributors to the defence discourse within NATO and beyond. It is therefore my firm belief that an advanced relationship will be of great benefit to the two organizations, their staff and NATO in general.”
RUSI's Professor Louth echoed BG Mîndrescu’s words stressing that, “RUSI is looking forward to develop a relationship with the JALLC over the next couple of months and to engage in a constant exchange of thoughts.”
On 09 February 2016, Commodore João Aresta, Maritime Command (MARCOM) Deputy Chief of Staff Plans and Navy Captain Johannes Schmidt-Thomée, Centre of Excellence Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW) Executive Director visited the JALLC accompanied (respectively) by Commander Jean Baptiste Carpentier, Evaluation and Lessons Learned Branch head and Commander Mike Kleibaum, Training and Analysis Branch.
The purpose of the visit was the exchange of information among all three organizations with the intent to explore the possibility of closer cooperation regarding improving the Lessons Learned process in terms of maritime operations and exercises. The visit began with a short office call with the JALLC's Commander, Brigadier General Mircea Mîndrescu, and was duly followed by briefings from the JALLC and both visiting parties which led to an active exchange of ideas on the improvement of the Lessons Learned process specifically with regard to maritime affairs.
Representatives from HQ MARCOM and the COE CSW expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome and interesting briefings and looked forward to the continued close cooperation with the JALLC.
JALLC Research Analyst Ulrich Pilster has recently published articles in two scientific journals in the field of international relations: International Studies Perspectives and Armed Forces and Society.” Both journals are listed in the Thomson Reuter’s Social Sciences Citation Index; Armed Forces and Society is ranked among the top military studies journals on Google Scholar.
Ulrich, who is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Essex’s Michael Nicholson Centre on Conflict and Cooperation, wrote the articles together with Dr. Tobias Boehmelt, Reader at the University of Essex, UK, and Dr. Atsushi Tago, Associate Professor at the University of Kobe, Japan
The article published in International Studies Perspectives looks at the determinants of states’ early withdrawals from military coalition operations. Ulrich and his co-authors analysed data on multilateral military interventions between 1946 and 2001 and conducted case studies of the South Korean and Australian contributions to the Vietnam War. They demonstrate in the article that characteristics of the states that participate in a military coalition operation, as well as the characteristics of the military intervention itself, drive decisions for an early withdrawal of troops. The article in Armed Forces and Society deals with the impact of security force structure on the mass killing of civilians in counterinsurgency campaigns. And was conducted using quantitative analyses of instances of armed conflict between 1971 and 2003.