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23 Jan 2015

Establishment of the Joint Targeting Interoperability Curriculum (JTIC) at NATO School Oberammergau (NSO)

On 23 Jan 2015, the first course of the JTIC at NSO ended with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in the School’s Manfred-Woerner-Hall. The long-awaited event was attended by Brigadier General Paul Nelson, Director of Intelligence for the United States European Command, Brigadier General Ole Asak, Assistant Chief of Staff J2 SHAPE, and Captain Scott Butler, NSO Commandant. The ceremony was highlighted by a video message from General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, in which he addressed JTIC’s students and NSO’s honoured guests: "As members of the JTIC Class N-3-17-A, you are the first students in the first class of this first of its kind curriculum. So, allow me to be the first to congratulate you on your participation on this ground breaking programme."

The Ceremony marked a significant milestone in NSO’s ever-increasing support to NATO’s operational readiness and interoperability initiatives in Joint Targeting through a systemic and Alliance-wide approach to education and training. During NATO’s Chicago Summit in 2012, the Allied Heads of State expressed a desire to provide NATO with an enduring and battle-ready Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) capability. This capability ensures NATO planners, operators, and senior decision-makers have the very latest information and intelligence needed to achieve a decisive strategic decision advantage. General Breedlove underlined this effort during his speech when he said, "To support Joint ISR implementation, NATO planners identified Education and Training as one of three fundamental pillars on which the development of NATO information and intelligence sharing capability would be built. One of the focus areas of this pillar is Intelligence Support to Targeting." NSO, in partnership with the United States European Command, will continue its global leadership in multinational military education and individual training through the delivery and continuous improvement of JTIC in order to meet the needs of the NATO war fighter.

JTIC began academic operations on 19 Jan 2015 with three Courses of Instruction (COI). The three COIs consist of Staff Management, Target Development, and Combat Assessment. Although specifically designed to train personnel in the highly-specialized competency requirements for the employment of targeteers at the Operational-level, JTIC’s robust curriculum is equally applicable to all staff and targeting positions at the Tactical and Strategic levels. JTIC’s annual capacity will serve to train as many as 700 students in the application of standardized joint targeting doctrine, policy, procedures, and best practices through realistic scenarios in a modern training facility.

I find [JTIC] particularly important, as Lessons Learned from NATO combat operations and exercises have repeatedly highlighted Joint Targeting training as a critical NATO operational shortfall. JTIC is designed to fix this shortfall by providing NATO staff with individual and collective training skills. This training will improve NATO’s ability to prepare for and conduct combat operations.
General Philip M. Breedlove, SACEUR