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Jul 22 2021

Multinational Corps Northeast prepares for Steadfast Jupiter 21 in NATO Joint Warfare Centre

SZCZECIN, Poland – On 5-16 July, as part of preparations to exercise Steadfast Jupiter 21 (STJU21), Multinational Corps Northeast personnel participated in the STJU21 Main Events List / Main Incidents List (MEL/MIL) Scripting Workshop. Held at NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway, the event gathered over 200 partakers from 21 countries representing 18 different training audiences.

Scheduled to be conducted this autumn, STJU21 is NATO's largest computer-assisted command post exercise (CAX/CPX) this year, and the first to focus on the challenges of deterrence. Directed by Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), the all-level (strategic, operational, and tactical) exercise is designed to train and evaluate the NATO Response Force 22, Multinational Corps Northeast and the Theatre Component Commands under the lead of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum. As part of the content development process, the aim of the twelve-day MEL/MIL Scripting Workshop was to produce a realistic, complex and challenging script for the exercise, in accordance with the fictitious training scenario developed by JWC.

On the part of Headquarters MNC NE, thirteen service members participated. Across the Corps, preparations for STJU21 have been in place for eighteen months, and the MEL/MIL Scripting Workshop represented the culmination of these efforts prior to the exercise execution phase in October 2021. On location in Stavanger, the Headquarters team was supported by personnel from the MNC NE subordinate units, including Multinational Division North East and Multinational Division North, as well as the assigned Polish 12th Mechanized Division. At the same time, a number of staff members from across Headquarters MNC NE rendered assistance from the Baltic Barracks in Szczecin, Poland.

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MNC NE personnel with LTC Dominik Schmitz, Chief Content / Photo by JWC PAO
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MNC NE personnel at Joint Warfare Centre / Photo by JWC PAO
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Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC / Photo by JWC PAO

In his opening remarks on 5 July, Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, Commander JWC, said: "Over the past eighteen months, we have been through an extremely testing time. We have learned some valuable lessons, not only about how we might do things better and more efficiently, but also about how important some of our established processes are to the development and delivery of a full-scale CPX." Reflecting on the importance of STJU21, the Commander added:

Moving from a combat-oriented execution phase to a deterrence focus requires a different approach, which is more subtle and nuanced. Complex military planning challenges should be routine business for a joint force headquarters, however, addressing the unique military and political challenges of deterrence is not. This is because deterrence is perhaps the most critical phase of a developing conflict.
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MNC NE personnel at Joint Warfare Centre / Photo by JWC PAO
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MNC NE personnel at Joint Warfare Centre / Photo by JWC PAO

The workshop participants synchronized over 1,000 exercise injects across five events, while ensuring over 486 tasks are performed to meet the training audiences' objectives for the exercise.

"Essentially, injects are pieces which have to be connected like a mosaic, feeding story-lines and creating a common picture for the Headquarters to be trained. Every little element has to be talked through and placed in the correct context to avoid misunderstandings and misconceptions so that the exercise is steered in the right direction," said MAJ Partick Schulze, Team Leader J7 MNC NE, "The MNC NE team put a lot of effort into that, either by writing injects for our own purposes or by contributing to the scripting for other entities."

As indicated by MAJ Schulze, the workshop proved very beneficial, as the partakers had the opportunity to coordinate their efforts in person which made it possible to establish a firm ground for the STJU21 training audiences in October. "The workshop was a total success in two different ways," stated MAJ Schulze, "Firstly, all participants successfully completed the scripting for STJU21. Secondly, more than 200 personnel from almost all entities being part of STJU21 were present."

A lot of additional topics were discussed, many unknowns identified and a great deal of issues solved. This direct interaction has been vital and showed one more time how important people are in the NATO environment, summarized MAJ Schulze.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office, courtesy of NATO Joint Warfare Centre and MAJ Partick Schulze (J7 MNC NE)

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