More than 500 soldiers and civilians from over 30 NATO and partner nations gathered in Bydgoszcz, Poland, to take part in the first 2020 pre-deployment training at the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC). Resolute Support Training Event 20-1 started on 21 January. It was officially opened by Brigadier General Jozsef Szpisjak, JFTC Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff.

“My staff worked for the last four months preparing for this training event, including a visit to theatre, to capture the latest data and lesson from Afghanistan (…) As a NATO training organisation, we are constantly learning and adapting the training we conduct to reflect the needs of the mission and the training audience.” – said General Szpisjak in his opening remarks, underlining the tremendous effort put into the preparation process, by Subject Matter Experts from theatre, and also by the recently re-deployed personnel who devoted their time to support the training. “You are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan at a critical point in time where your performance will undoubtedly shape the future of the country for years to come” – he added.

Major General Thorsten Poschwatta, Deputy Commander of Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command and designated Resolute Support Headquarters’ Chief of Staff, who also participated in the opening ceremony, highlighted the value of the training. He encouraged the trainees, who represented various units, nations, cultures and backgrounds, to use the event in Bydgoszcz to learn more about each other and to build a strong team.

Pre-deployment training at JFTC combines both academics and practice parts. During such events, soldiers receive information related to their anticipated mission, situation in the theatre, future roles, cultural and political environment, religion and many others. Theoretical parts of the training are supported with practical exercises. Another very important aspect is interaction with personnel with the most recent in-theatre knowledge and experience.

The currently ongoing training is no different. Already on the first day of the event, future members of NATO mission in Afghanistan, received a lot of useful information, to include that coming directly from the theatre. Via teleconference with Kabul they met with Lieutenant General Giles Hill, Deputy Commander of the Resolute Support Headquarters. General Hill provided soldiers with information related to Resolute Support Mission’s structure, activities, top challenges, security environment, risks and threats.

During the upcoming days, the participants will receive more data and tips they will need in Afghanistan. They will also train with personnel who have in-theatre experience, including flag officers, also those representing Afghan National Defence Security Forces. The training audience will also keep examining their knowledge and skills in practice.

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