NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), General Philippe Lavigne, met with the Joint Force Training Centre’s (JFTC) leadership and staff. The head of the JFTC higher headquarters visited the NATO training centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on 6 May. General Lavigne assumed the position in autumn last year and it was his first visit to JFTC.
Major General Norbert Wagner, JFTC Commander, and his key staff provided SACT with details and in-depth analysis of the centre’s current program of work as well as future challenges. Discussions focused on training events and exercises, integration of warfare development with JFTC activities, Battle Laboratory capabilities and their importance in strengthening NATO’s cohesion.
“We must take advantage of every opportunity to test concepts, doctrine, equipment and even processes, and exercises are great opportunities. Experimentation in exercises is one powerful means to confront new ideas, concepts and tools with reality. (…) It allows for testing and learning reliable lessons”, said General Lavigne highlighting the importance of JFTC training and exercises.
The impact of the current geopolitical situation on JFTC’s work was particularly emphasised as were challenges the centre faced in the complex and dynamic NATO training environment.
SACT also met with the JFTC staff during the All Hands Meeting. Responding to staff members’ questions, General Lavigne assured of his and the Allied Command Transformation’s continuous support to JFTC and its mission.
“JFTC has a unique role within NATO Command Structure focusing on joint and combined training at the tactical level. (…) I want you to know how pleased I am to see the JFTC conforms so flexibly to the new mindset we are all trying to instil throughout NATO”, General Lavigne added. “We need to think big but we need to act small and fast. We need to adopt the incremental approach that will allow us to gain in speed and agility.”
A walk around the JFTC premises that complemented the official part of the visit provided General Lavigne with a full picture of the centre and its capabilities.
The Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is one of NATO’s two strategic commanders. General Philippe Lavigne took over the responsibilities of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation on 23 September 2021.
The biography of General Lavigne is available here .