Breedlove then reviewed the certification exercise (CERTEX) calendar and asked if LANDCOM or the GRF(L)s could only manage one evaluation for one corps per year. Hodges replied that he didn't think NATO could afford to only plan one a year to meet the Level of Ambition.
"We need to create a training community or have a structure in place so that we can conduct multiple exercises simultaneously, both virtually and live,” said Hodges.
Falconer explained that in the future, a CERTEX needs scenario development that is focused beyond the NATO Response Force (NRF) level, collaboration with AIRCOM and MARCOM, augmentation and communication network protocol compatibility to facilitate effective command and control.
LANDCOM's Deputy Commander and lead for the CERTEX program, Lt. General Gordon Messenger (GBR-RM), expressed his desire to change the thinking within NATO so that commanders view LANDCOM evaluators as consultants rather than like school headmasters seeking to pass or fail pupils.
"Constructive criticism is not bad. Our goal should be to understand what 21st-Century componency looks like so we can effectively link the strategic command level with the joint operational level,” Messenger said.
The SACEUR reiterated that he would challenge each NATO component command to develop a training and certification program for 2015 and beyond to consolidate and condense resources and expects them to conduct fewer exercises.
"We can't afford a hodge podge of exercises and training focused on the preparation of individual units,” said Breedlove. "We need to plan ones geared for two to three groups of training audiences.”