The first-ever distributed Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise (CWIX) concludes today, on 26 June 2020.
NATO’s largest interoperability event drew to a successful close today. The Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise (CWIX) took place from June 8th to June 26th and spread from San Diego on the West Coast of the USA all the way to Ankara in Turkey.
Military and civilian experts from 22 nations tested and improved interoperability between 144 deployable command and control capabilities from 60 different test sites across 10 different time zones. The purpose of the tests was to ensure that Alliance nations, partner nations and other organizations’ military capabilities can work seamlessly together, ‘acting as One’ when called upon.
Through CWIX, the exchange of vital information between potential mission partners is tested and confirmed before deployment. This verified interoperability is fundamental to mission success and contributes to NATO’s military readiness and effectiveness from the start of every NATO mission or operation.
CWIX normally takes place at the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The COVID-19 pandemic made this impossible and led to an entirely distributed event. What appeared initially to be straightforward became more challenging as nations had to innovate and adapt to new ways of working and to realign people, processes and technologies to make this event a success.
Although this time the Joint Force Training Centre did not host all CWIX participants in its compound, the Centre played a very important role in this year’s execution as well. With its Battle Laboratory service, JFTC provided technical connectivity (the so-called hub) for participating entities in order to allow them to securely join the distributed CWIX 2020 environment from remote locations. Thanks to this simplified access to the CWIX 2020 exercise environment, Alliance members and partners were able to execute their tests together.
“Shoulder to shoulder with HQ ACT CWIX Management and NCI Agency as the Service Provider, we developed the CWIX Information Management System and came up with JFTC Battle Laboratory as the exercise hub. It was a smart action plan that had never been implemented as such before. Now, at the end of CWIX 2020 I dare to say the plan worked”, said Major General Adam Joks, JFTC Commander, in his closing remarks.
Additionally, as a co-lead of the Modelling & Simulation Focus Area, JFTC coordinated submission and execution of all related test cases in this respective area of expertise together with the Modelling & Simulation Centre of Excellence in Rome. These test cases focused on improving future training.
With the end of this CWIX, the new cycle of CWIX 2021 is just around the corner. The next iteration of CWIX will build upon the experience gained and offer nations even more opportunities to improve interoperability between their command and control capabilities.
“The experience from this exercise may help us install an exercise form in the future which will combine the best of two worlds - allowing those who cannot come to Bydgoszcz to collaborate effectively with the ones who will work in person at JFTC in 2021”, said Major General Adam Joks.
To read more about CWIX 2020 highlights, check the home page of the Allied Command Transformation at https://www.act.nato.int/articles/cwix-improving-interoperability-for-22-nations-across-10-times-zones