25 June, 2009

Joint Maritime Operational Training Staff

Neptune Warrior Rebranding

From Jun 05, the Joint Maritime Course (JMC) became NEPTUNE WARRIOR (NW). Rather than herald a seachange, the new title reflects ongoing developments in the way the course is constructed and in the wide range of participants. Thus, we are "changing the label on the tin to better reflect the content".

In advance of the issue of the DIN, the background to the change is explained below for the benefit of Course stakeholders. This is provided to inform resource management decisions and assist stakeholders in spreading the news. Further information can be obtained from the JMOTS staff, who are also available on request to conduct a presentation on the Course for you or members of your staff.

The Rationale

JMCs were conceived after the Second World War to ensure that the RN and RAF maintained credible ASW forces against the Soviet submarine force. Sixty years on, the Course still strives to deliver exactly the trained required to satisfy the needs of its diverse training audience.

However, the Course has evolved to provide training against the wide range of traditional and asymmetric threats faced by joint forces today. There has also been increasing emphasis on providing training for air and land forces, which now recognise the opportunities and threats posed by the maritime flank and want to take advantage of the training possible within a Course.

While the emphasis of naval forces has been away from blue water operations and into the brown water of the littoral, land and air forces have become increasingly aware of their maritime flank and the uses to which it might be put. Not only is this a matter geography, it can drive command and control within a joint and networked-enabled battlespace. When this is considered alongside the rage of non-maritime participants continued labelling of the Course as 'maritime' is as misleading as it is unnecessary exclusive.

For example, last year, JMOTS hosted 2 US carriers and coordinated the most concentrated periods of military flying since the war against Iraq. A good deal of this was on Composite Air Operations and on Time Sensitive Targeting missions that exercised the Kill Chain Initiative against land and maritime targets. Non-maritime participants have included Army and RAF Ground-Based Air Defence, Royal Artillery, Army EW, Special Forces, Expeditionary Logistics personnel and airbases conducting evaluations while participating aircraft operate from them. Working within a joint framework, land, air and naval participants have co-operated in Joint Fires against land targets on the Cape Wrath Bombardment Range.

subWhile still defined as a national Course, practises have reflected NATO, Allied and coalition operations. Participants have come from as far away as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, while Brazil and India have expressed formal interest in attending. JMOTS has also welcomed participation by formed multinational formations such as SNFL, BNLTG, FRGETG and SNMCMG1.

There is one thing about future Courses that will not change and that is the emphasis on interaction, which achieves training by driving participants together. This is a significant difference from other exercises where unit training may be sacrificed in order to practise higher-level operational concepts. Working within the framework of a scenario where domestic discontent, international terrorism and information operations all play their part, the course allows development of skills at all levels up to Maritime and Air Component Command level.

Overall, those looking forward to the high standard of product that they have come to expect from JMOTS can rest assured that Neptune Warrior will still deliver the focused and quality training that units need to take their place in a deployed Joint Task Force.

The Name

The name NEPTUNE WARRIOR has been chosen to maintain the connection with JMOTS' roots but also to reflect the emerging realities of operations in the 21st Century. Neptune is generally known as the Roman God of Sea but he was also called "Earth-Shaker". A malevolent Titan, he is often pictured, trident in hand, riding either a dolphin or a horse. Thus, he encapsulates the intrinsic duality of sea and land. Astrologically, Neptune also represents intuition and enlightenment; a perfect figurehead for such a complex training evolution. The term 'Warrior' provides a link with many other exercises around the world and reinforces the point that, peacetime operations notwithstanding, military forces must always be prepared to fight and win.

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