Group Editor Marty Kauchak previews the scenario and industry participation strategy for NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015.

As this issue was being published NATO staff offices and alliance nations were starting the early phases of Exercise Trident Juncture (TRJE) 2015. The training event will be the alliance’s largest and most ambitious exercise in over a decade. Primarily hosted by Canada, Italy, Portugal and Spain, the exercise’s main phases will be completed in October and November. More than 30,000 participants, approximately 60 ships, 10 submarines, over 200 fixed-wing aircraft and about 1,000 special operations forces are scheduled to participate in this year’s exercise.

This iteration of TRJE is permitting alliance staffs, units and individuals to train as they operate in the contemporary operating environment (COE). While the event is expanding the technology envelope for distributed training, it is also using high-fidelity events which replicate the increasingly dynamic COE. Beyond TRJE’s enabling technologies and relevant scenario, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is also expanding its business model, casting a wider net for more simulation and training sector (S&T) companies in the command’s exercise program.

Distributed Training

The CPX (command post exercise) part of the event has locations in Canada, Norway, Spain, Italy and Portugal. A complex and capable Communication Information System architecture allows for seamless integration between the various headquarters and component commanders in the exercise. For the live portion of the exercise, the principle is the same except there are approximately 20 exercise locations that are networked to ensure the Command and Control, and Exercise Control structures can successfully complete and support the exercise.

US Army Major Jeff Pray, the media relations officer at ACT, provided one aspect of the TR JE 2015 distributed environment – the connection with Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC). “Since the spring of 2014, JWC and CJOC J7 planners have been working diligently to link and integrate Canadian JOINTEX to TRJE 15,” Pray said, and continued, “During the CPX, CJOC J7 will set their watches to European time, connected to JWC's Exercise Control (EXCON) in Stavanger, Norway, and Joint Forces Command (JFC) Brunssum Headquarters' Joint Task Force (JTF) in Zaragoza, Spain, while interacting with an EXCON located in Ottawa, Canada. The main enabler for this is our sophisticated CAX [computer assisted exercise] systems.”

Train as They Operate

The Exercise TRJE 2015 scenario has events which replicate the dynamic 2015 COE.

Pray described the rigor of the scenario, noting the Joint Task Force headquarters (JFC Brunssum) has 20 Primary Training Objectives with a multitude of secondary and supporting objectives that range from command and control of a multinational force to theatre logistics management, key leader engagements, intelligence processes, cyber defense, theatre ballistic missile defense, deliberate and dynamic targeting, SOF, and other tasks.

Exercise TRJE will also feature a number of “firsts” for the training audience.

In one instance, NATO will engage with up to 15 non-governmental organizations and international organizations during the CPX in October. Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) directs the CPX portion of the exercise which will be the key in further advancing Connecting Forces Initiative and NATO’s overall cooperation with UN-affiliated organizations and specialized civilian agencies to an unprecedented level.

Developed by Joint Warfare Centre, NATO’s new training scenario, SOROTAN, which challenges NATO against conventional warfare and hybrid threats, will be launched during TRJE 15. “SOROTAN provides a setting that enables an out-of-area, non-Article 5 Crisis Response Operation, showcasing NATO's flexibility in the face of advanced threats and addressing many NATO training priorities simultaneously,” Pray observed.

Major General Reinhard Wolski, the commander of JWC, further pointed out “As NATO’s primary CPX provider for the joint operational level, JWC's aim is to prepare NATO for the security challenges, whether it being an attack on a member nation, a cyber-attack, hybrid threat, terrorism, or a humanitarian mission.”

JWC is also validating the JISR (Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) concept in this exercise for the first time.

ACT continues its heritage in military experimentation, of moving “transformational activities” into exercises. Pray noted that while this is not necessarily new, ACT and more specifically ACT OPEX (Operational Experimentation), played a very active role in TRJE 15 to push program managers to move their activities into the exercise environment as a step towards implementation. “In coordination with JWC, we managed to move seven activities into the exercise. This is important because we are working to accelerate the transformational process to meet NATO’s improvement requirements with mature projects to move them into an operational environment and closer to the operators,” the media relations officer said.

Two initiatives that OPEX will oversee in TRJE15 are “Smart Defence” projects. Smart Defence is a cooperative way of thinking about generating the modern defense capabilities that the Alliance needs for the future – in ballistic missile defense, for instance. Pray added, “This is a great success for the SD construct; because it shows these types of projects can get traction and move forward. Again, it’s about implementation and this is a good step on the way toward FOC [full operational capability].”


During TJRE participants from industry and business will be embedded in various exercise headquarters and gather insights into how their respective companies can assist NATO to find solutions to its future capability challenges. This is all part of a new program started by the Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, one of NATO’s two strategic commanders and the head of Allied Command Transformation. The program called the Industry Involvement Initiative for NATO Exercises (I3X) kicked off in 2014 and, among other capability integration activities, will be an experiment throughout TRJE.

Wayne Buck, a modelling and simulation specialist in the Future Solutions, Modelling and Simulation Branch in the Capability Development Division of ACT, told MS&T the aim of this new initiative is to welcome and encourage innovation by allowing industry to have a much better foundational understanding of how NATO exercises are initiated, planned, executed, evaluated and used to prepare for operations. The community expert noted that during the experiment, company representatives will receive special briefings, have access to sites normally off limits, and be able to speak candidly with military operators. “If the experiment proves to be successful, industry participation may be offered in many of the Trident series of exercises starting with TRJE 15,” he added.

Through a recruiting, qualification and authorization process, 51 companies have been invited to participate in TRJE 15. During October, these 51 company representatives will spend three days each at the exercise having attended a two day preparation workshop in August.

Of interest to the S&T community, the Framework for NATO Industry Engagement (FNIE) is a NATO-wide effort to render the NATO-Industry relationship more coherent and valuable. Buck added that industry has expressed a desire to gain greater insight into Alliance capability requirements, including priorities. This would allow them to anticipate potential opportunities, invest and develop ideas, and ultimately offer innovative solutions for future NATO needs. He added, “To achieve this level of cooperation, greater visibility of the work carried out by NATO in the different phases of capability development, including exercises, may offer industry this insight.”

I3X participation is viewed at ACT as a direct response to the FNIE and provides many benefits to NATO and industry including: the provision of solutions fitted to NATO operational needs; allowing informed decisions based on cost factors; engaging and questioning the operator directly; better technology awareness through interaction with industry representatives as a way to make NATO a smarter customer and increase knowledge and awareness of NATO and nations’ exercise and operations priorities.

Buck further noted the Framework For Collaborative Interaction (FFCI) is an Allied Command Transformation policy within FNIE that emphasizes the principles of fairness, transparency, mutual benefit, positive partnering, “costs lie where they fall” and “away from procurement.” He continued, “This policy is the crux of I3X and allows industry participants to fully participate in NATO exercises by staying at the exercise for several days.”

The following is a “snapshot” of S&T industry members recruited for this I3X.

4C Strategies is a UK/Swedish software and managed services company providing solutions and expertise protection, audit and compliance, and capability development capacity. In partnership with the company’s clients it: builds - through the creation and embedding of capabilities; verifies - through the validation and audit of those capabilities; and tracks - through the transparent monitoring and visualization of the capabilities.

David Paterson, a partner at 4C Strategies and head of Group Military Business Development, told MS&T that his company has a strong heritage in providing multinational training event services, working extensively with the British, Swedish, Australian and New Zealand armed forces in support of unit training, and up to helping manage and run complex multinational operational level exercises. He pointe d out “Recent work in the British Army, based on the experiences gained in the Mission Specific Training in preparing brigades for operations in Afghanistan, has enabled the British Army’s Collective Training Group (CTG) to translate the chain-of-command (CoC)-directed emphasis on the achievement of Collective Training Objectives (CTOs), then construct, plan and resource a coherent training progression and then manage it actively using a Collective Training Exercise Management System (CTEMS) in order to optimize delivery of the CTOs in a coherent manner.”

This capability allows CTG to assess and attend incrementally to training risk as force elements move through the constituent training events and provide the required assurance to the CoC. In parallel, the same evidence drawn from CTEMS and other commercial off-the-shelf solutions forms the basis for the delivery of after action reviews and formal reports.

The London-based industry expert added that more recently, 4C Strategies has been awarded the contract to develop NATO’s electronic Military Training and Exercise Programme (eMTEP) in support of ACT. He added, “This will allow the Strategic Commands, the NATO Command Structure, NATO Force Structure and nations to plan, schedule, synchronize and resource major training events.”

Jake McFerren, an executive at Tampa, Florida-based Wittenberg Weiner Consulting (WWC) noted his company is a management consulting firm that assists government and military clients on the “business” side of their operational requirements; planning and overseeing strategic planning functions, event and exercise planning, and the integration of S&T opportunities into an effective framework. The community veteran further said, “Our expertise lies less in the action of the exercise and more in the examination of how to best use and organize troops and resources, while reserving maximum flexibility for commanders. We serve as the complement to the traditional providers that I3X targeted by playing an integration and oversight role across the Enterprise.”

WWC’s customer list is extensive as it provides services across the US Government spectrum – to all branches of the US military and joint commands, to the State Department, and to domestic agencies.

McFerren continued, “WWC is expert in metrics and resource use. We get excited about things that bore most strategists: logistics, structures, and rules of engagement.”

Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG’s) Defence & Security's diversified simulation and training portfolio includes providing services for analyses for capability management; training and exercises; mission support, including operations analysis; and support of procurement programs.

Given the broad spectrum of IABG’s services and experience, the company applies an integrated approach to M&S that ranges from the definition of training objectives and performance objectives, development of standard operating procedures, scenarios and vignettes, all the way to controlling and subsequent exercise analysis and evaluation. A spokesperson further told MS&T, “As the staff combines operational, technological and methodological expertise we are able to even represent entire component commands with multi-resolution constructive simulation systems and subject matter experts during exercises.”

Due to IABG’s business mission, the Ottobrunn, Germany-based company acts as a product-neutral consultant and service provider. Nevertheless it also uses various own tools in its services, including exercise support, for instance. “One of such tools is KORA, the Joint Synthetic War Game and Crisis Response System, which is one of the major constructive simulation systems of the German Army Warfighting Simulation Center, used for training and exercises,” the spokesperson concluded.