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Nov 15 2018

Trust and Understanding: Key Elements of Command

Between 05 and 09 November, Lieutenant General Slawomir Wojciechowski, the Commander of Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE), conducted a battlefield circulation (BFC) on the eastern flank of the Alliance. General Wojciechowski travelled to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to connect with Chiefs of Defence, commanders and soldiers. The reasoning behind the battlefield circulation is to allow the Commander to gain a better understanding of his area of operations and its challenges as well as to help visualize solutions. 

Main aim of the BFC was to have direct meetings with commanders from eFP battalions, host brigades and NFIUs. All of them are already fully integrated into the command and control system and are very well aware of how crucial their role is. But I wanted to personally see how they function, what they are facing, but also tell them my plans and vision for the future.

- says General Wojciechowski
Such insights can only be achieved through direct observation and face-to-face dialogue. In the current complex environment, leaders cannot allow themselves to be tied to the command post and lead through e-mail. Thus, the BFC is not a random inspection but a series of deliberate meetings on various levels. This includes both the soldiers deployed and those at the very top of them – the Chiefs of Defence. The Battlefield Circulation‘s timing was also of the essence. General Wojciechowski took over MNC NE as early as September. Thus, the lessons gathered during his journey will have a positive impact on the development of not only the Corps itself but also of its subordinated units.

It deepened my situational awareness; from the perspective of the Commander that is responsible for the region, this was the best starting point. I know the expectations.” – comments General Wojciechowski.

Direct meetings with the Chiefs of Defence from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania showed what crucial role is assigned to the Corps.
Lieutenant-General Sławomir Wojciechowski (PhD), Polish Army, Commander of Multinational Corps Northeast, visits camp Ādaži, Latvia on November 7 2018.
Photo: eFP BG ROTO 3 LATVIA Imagery
I was reassured that Multinational Corps Northeast is seen as the key regional command. This is not a Corps but the Corps and the Land Component Command – with defined tasks and responsibilities.” – adds General Wojciechowski

General Wojciechowski is the former Commander of the Armed Forces Operational Command of the Polish Armed Forces. This experience allows him to better understand the importance of cooperation and the essence of integration between multinational units.

During the BFC, I had many chances to meet soldiers who are deployed to the eastern flank of the Alliance. What strikes me the most is their enthusiasm, devotion and eagerness! They truly appreciate the fact that they can train for 6-7 months without limitations, that they have the opportunity to polish their skills in a multinational environment. It is really gripping to listen how they turned differences into strengths. Now there are exercises not only within each of the Battlegroups but also between them. Those are marvellous initiatives that foster deeper interoperability.” – summarises Wojciechowski.

Multinational Division North-East, the Elblag-based Command will be a vital link between the Szczecin-based Corps and its assigned units. It is currently being certified during the upcoming exercise ANAKONDA 18 and will further enhance the command chain on the north-eastern flank of NATO.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin