The NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) inaugurated another demanding year of training and exercises, and also of important jubilees. On 18 January, Major General Norbert Wagner, the Centre’s Commander welcomed over 100 guests, the Joint Force Training Centre’s partners and friends, who attended the annual New Year’s Reception.

“There is a lot of work ahead of us and our main effort will be to support our warfighters to be better prepared to deter, and to defend NATO countries” – said General Wagner, while presenting the Joint Force Training Centre’s important events and key areas of engagement for the upcoming months.

JFTC will start the year with a big warfighting exercise, LOYAL LEDA 2024. Meanwhile, the Centre’s training team is already busy preparing another event of this type planned for the beginning of 2025. The preparations will continue throughout the year, along with support to Georgian Armed Forces in tailoring another peacekeeping NATO-Georgia exercise that will occur also in 2025.

Over the year, the Joint Force Training Centre will also continue conducting pre-deployment training for the advisory NATO Mission Iraq, supporting Allied Command Transformation in NATO’s largest interoperability testing exercise CWIX, and supporting Allied Command Operations in providing training for NATO key leaders (Exercise STEADFAST PYRAMID/PINNACLE).

2024 is also a year of important anniversaries. Next to the 75th anniversary of NATO, and the 25th anniversary of JFTC Host Nation’s, Poland, accession to the Alliance, the NATO Joint Force Training Centre will celebrate its own 20th jubilee. To recognise those events, Bydgoszcz, the JFTC Host City, has proclaimed 2024 “the year of NATO and NATO Joint Force Training Centre”, and JFTC will start celebrations of its anniversary in May together with local community in the city centre.

“Let me express my gratitude for the exceptional support provided by all of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Bydgoszcz representatives throughout the year. Without your commitment and support, our mission would have been much more difficult and the quality of life way more demanding” – said General Wagner thanking all JFTC partners and friends for their extraordinary to-date support. Turning to his staff, he added: “Special thanks also go to my staff for another year filled with professionalism and dedication. It is a pleasure to be a part of such a committed and at the same time diverse and cohesive organisation.”

This will be Major General Norbert Wagner’s last year in the position of JFTC Commander. In September, he will hand over the command of JFTC to a Polish general officer. The change of command will be another highlight of the busy year.

Among JFTC partners and friends who attended the New Year’s Reception, were highest regional and local authorities, to include the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivode, Mr Michał Sztybel, the Marshal of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region, Mr Piotr Całbecki, the Mayor of Bydgoszcz, Mr Rafał Bruski, and Major General Artur Kępczyński, Chief of the Inspectorate for Polish Armed Forces Support.