Compared with a real-life situation this is a minimal JOC but it carries out all the most important functions – intelligence, logistics, planning and communications. The Centre is also in direct contact with the land, naval, air and information operation commanders in place in Bogaland.
“Those of us in the JOC who make up the exercise direction team actually create the conditions in which the trainees have to carry out their tasks. We produce decisions on which changes to existing orders are then based,” says Kjell Aldenbro who heads the JOC in VIKING just as he does in the Swedish Armed Forces’ Operational Staff. This is the third exercise in a relative short period in which he has acted as head of the JOC and he sees this as an excellent way of getting practice in exercising his real-life function. “All this contributes to stage four – helping me to do my own job better,” he adds.
Ideally he would probably have liked to have someone to take over his position, someone for whom he could act as mentor. Head of the JOC is a key position but the whole question of succession is something that the organisation as a whole should look at more closely, he believes.
“Most of all, what this exercise gives us is the opportunity to meet and work with colleagues of other nationalities,” he says, “to speak English and to broaden the basis of our own views and perceptions.”