International R&D Conference – Warfighting at the army corps and division level
The Norwegian Military Academy organizes its annual International Research and Development Conference on Land Operations and Combined Arms
There are two driving factors for the topic of this year’s conference – warfighting at the formation level.
First, the war in Ukraine has shown that it is essential for land forces to have a high level of competency in planning and conducting operations at this level against peer adversaries.
Secondly, the Nordic countries are working to develop a Nordic defence concept as a consequence of Finland’s and soon Sweden’s membership in NATO. Our governments and militaries are now looking into implications and opportunities which the new situation offers.
For the land forces, this implies, among other things, that we need to analyse how we should command combined land operations within a joint, combined framework. Nordic national division commands should be able to seamlessly integrate other Nordic and NATO allies’ brigades and support units, and there is a requirement for at least one Nordic Corps Command, maybe more, due to natural geographic delineations.
Due to several NATO nations’ focus on counter insurgency operations over the last 20 years, the topic is also relevant for NATO allies outside the Nordic countries.
We are inviting speakers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Israel and Norway. There will be both military professionals and civilian researchers presenting lessons learned and research from these levels of command. Several perspectives will be presented, with focus on different warfighting functions, branches of the commands (Commander, G2, G3, G4, G5, G6 or COS), etc.
In-processing will start on Wednesday 1st November at 08:00-09:00.
The opening of the conference will take place on Wednesday, 1st November, at 09:00, and there will be 30-minute presentations interspersed with breaks throughout Wednesday and Thursday.
The conference ends on Thursday, 2nd November, at 15:00.
Lunch will be served both days in the hotel restaurant, and on Wednesday afternoon, there will be an informal networking dinner in the Olympia hall.
Conference fee: NOK 2 300 (by 21.June: $ 205, £ 159, € 186). This covers attendance, lunch, networking dinner on Wednesday, and coffee/tea/water/snacks during breaks.
Hotel rooms are additional.
After signing up, all participants will receive an email regarding the wish to attend the conference.
The Norwegian participants will be sent a link to pay by Vipps. Other nationals will be invoiced.
The conference will be held in the New Munch conference hall at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Oslo. The hotel is situated in walking distance from Oslo Central Train Station and Oslo Bus Terminal. There are fast airport trains as well as local trains and buses running to/from Oslo Gardermoen Airport several times every hour.
There will be rooms available for participants at a discounted government rate.
For bookings, please use this link.
The presentations will be streamed online live, and the recordings will be made available after the conference.
Last year’s conference had the topic Lessons Identified from the War in Ukraine, and the recorded presentations can be viewed here
Speakers and the titles of their presentations will be announced on a running basis.
Chief Academic Officer
Expeditionary Warfare School
Marine Corps University
Commanding combined operations at the division level – a view from the USMC
KIRKLIN J. BATEMAN is Chief Academic Officer, Expeditionary Warfare School, Marine Corps University. Previously, he was Associate Professor and Chair, Department of War and Conflict Studies (WACS), College of International Security Affairs (CISA) of the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC. He was commissioned through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Kansas as an infantry officer and served throughout the United States and Southwest Asia in air assault and mechanized infantry units. He career-field designated as a strategist and completed assignments with the Joint Staff, Army Staff, and Army Cyber Command.
He was principal author of the 2004 and 2005 CJCS Risk Assessment of the National Military Strategy and on the writing team of the 2004 National Military Strategy and 2005 National Defense Strategy. He was also the principal author of the 2007 Army Strategic Planning Guidance.
He has fifteen years of experience in teaching, curriculum development, and academic leadership in PME and JPME programs at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. In addition to CISA, he has also served on the faculty at the Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course and the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School. He is also a 2002 graduate of the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting.
He retired as a colonel in 2013 after twenty-five years of commissioned service. He also serves as a member of the Marine Corps University Press Editorial Board.
Lessons Identified from Planning and Commanding Warfighting with NATO Army Corps
Major General Deakin has served as Deputy Chief of Staff Plans in Allied Joint Force Command Naples. Before that he has served as Commander of the 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland; Deputy Director Strategy, Plans, and Policy in US Central Command; Director of the Comprehensive Crisis Management Centre (CCOMC) in Allied Command Operations (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium; Special Adviser to the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee; Assistant Chief of Staff G5 Plans with HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) and Deputy Future Plans in the ISAF Joint Command.
He commanded the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, a Mechanised Infantry Battalion from Dec 06 – Jan 09, which included commanding an All-Arms Mechanised Battle Group on combat operations in Iraq. Prior to Battalion command he was on the Directing staff of the Advanced Command and Staff Course.
Born in Arbroath, Scotland and originally commissioned into the King’s Regiment (an antecedent Regiment of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment) he has served in Europe, the Falkland Islands, and the Middle East. Of note was service in Northern Ireland, where he was Mentioned in Dispatches during a tour as the Close Observation (Recce) Platoon Commander; Germany as a staff officer in 4th Armoured Brigade and Headquarters ARRC; Bosnia on 2 occasions, the latter as Chief of Staff Multi National Task Force (North West) where he was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service and in Iraq as an Armoured Infantry Company Commander where he was awarded a Chief of Joint Operations Commendation then later as a Battle Group Commander for which he became OBE and then as a Director SHAPE’s CCOMC he was made CBE.
He completed the United Kingdom’s Joint Services Command and Staff College Higher Command and Staff Course in 2010 and the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2002, achieving 2 Masters Degrees, one from Cranfield University in Defence Technology and the other from King’s College London in Defence Studies.
Professor of Strategy
General Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research
Editor in Chief, US Army War College Press
Achieving Integrated Deterrence through Integrated Defense: Implications for Land Component Commanders and Below
History shows deterrence by denial is more effective than deterrence by punishment (insofar as proving deterrence effectiveness is possible at all). Deterrence by denial itself rests on a viable defense. This presentation discusses how the US/NATO can integrate its deterrence efforts more effectively by first integrating the total/comprehensive defense concepts of Ukraine and those NATO nations bordering Russia and supporting them with real-time intelligence.
Professor Antulio J. Echevarria II is the General MacArthur Chair of Research at the US Army War College and a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Program. He holds a doctorate in modern history from Princeton University and has authored six books on strategic thinking: War’s Logic: Strategic Thought and the American Way of War (Cambridge 2021), Military Strategy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2017), Imagining Future War (2007), Clausewitz and Contemporary War (Oxford 2007), Reconsidering the American Way of War (Georgetown 2014), and After Clausewitz (Kansas 2001).
He is a graduate of the US Military Academy, the US Army Command and General Staff College, and the US Army War College. He also completed a NATO Fulbright Fellowship (2000-01), a Senior Research Fellowship at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (2017-2019), and an Adjunct Fellowship at the Modern War Institute at West Point (2018-2019). He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the US Army War College Press, which includes the US Army’s quarterly strategy journal Parameters.
Norwegian Cyber Engineer School
Cyberspace Operations in the Land Domain: Why the Corps Command Should Be the Coordinating Entity of Cyber Operations within the Land Domain
There is today a clear requirement to coordinate cyberspace operations with land operations as these may influence activities within all warfighting functions in the land domain. This requirement also stems from the fact that the civilian society in a war zone has the land command as its primary military cooperation partner. Acknowledging that the capabilities to conduct advanced cyberspace operations primarily will be centralized at the cyber force, the requirement to protect especially C4IS, but also to conduct intelligence, reconnaissance and special operations, may require some capability at the corps level of command. This presentation will address these issues.
Commander Norwegian Joint Logistics Support Group
Developing the Norwegian Joint Logistics Support Group – theatre logistics in the high North
Logistics is both an enabling and a limiting factor in operations and sets the parameter for what is strategically achievable, operational feasible and tactical possible. This presentation will focus on the development of the Norwegian Joint Logistics Support Group as a functional component command for Joint Force Command Norfolk. It will show the importance of theatre logistics (3rd line logistics) for the land component. The presentation will look at the change of focus from a maritime oriented theatre to more land orientation when Finland became member of NATO and Sweden applied for its membership – the shift from a Norwegian south to north axis with limited capacity to a move forces and logistics, to a west-east orientation supply lines with multiple options in a Nordic theatre.
The JLSG role is important in a theatre ensuring the joint logistic perspective, coordinating and providing efficient theatre logistic capacities; the RSOM process, sustainment and RMSD - it is the link to home bases (nations) rear of the land component, ensuring that host nation support, contract support operations and synchronization logistics of the different nations logistics in the theatre – enabling common and multinational logistic solutions were possible, ensuring a steady flow of military organized logistics to the fighting forces in the front.
Captain (N) Remi Jakobsen has a broad background from military logistics, both from a naval and the joint perspective.
He has the main part of his service from the Navy, but also served at the Defense Joint Services (FFT), the ministry of defense (MoD), the Naval Academy (NA) and two periods in the Norwegian Defense Logistic Organization (NDLO). The last years he has been in the NDLO as project manager, deputy commander and now commander of the Norwegian Joint Logistics Support Group (NorJLSG).
Jakobsen is educated at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, has a master of science in economics and a master of management with Supply Chain Management as profile. He also has the command staff course and the senior executive course from the Norwegian Defense University College.
Staff Officer 1 Intelligence
Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
Intelligence for Warfighting at the Army Corps Level
The term ‘Intelligence led operations’ has been in vogue since the post 9/11 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, with ongoing events in Ukraine only reinforcing the validity of this term. However, to what extent has the saturation of technology-enabled intelligence collection and processing changed the role of intelligence within a Corps HQ?
Lt Col John James completed his Masters in International Relations at Kings College London and commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1999. He has served in operational combat intelligence roles in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan as well as more specialist intelligence roles in the UK, Germany and Cyprus, complemented by two tours in Defence Intelligence Agency in Washington DC, two tours in Defence Intelligence in London and a secondment to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office. He has previously served at the 2* Standing Joint Force HQ (SJFHQ) in Northwood and with 3* Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) – where he has recently returned to as Deputy G2.
Head Counselor, Department of History
United States Military Academy
West Point, NY
Operation Husky: A Historical Case Study for the Contemporary U.S. Army
Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Axis controlled Sicily in July 1943, was a crucible of learning for the United States Army. Efforts to synchronize the Allied air, sea, and land operations against Axis forces during Operation Husky proved to be difficult at the division and corps levels of command. Similarly, the complex nature of 21st century conflict will undoubtedly involve partner nations in a joint environment. Studying history, specifically Operation Husky, can teach present day United States Army planners at the division and corps levels to maximize the use of partner nation and joint liaison officers to maximize shared understanding and conceptualization of the battlefield.
MAJ Darren Johnson is a United States Army infantry officer that is currently serving as an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy at West Point. MAJ Johnson has served in the U.S. Army for over 12 years and has two combat deployments to Afghanistan as an infantry platoon leader and company commander.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Corban University and a master’s degree in history from Florida State University, where he focused his research on the Holocaust and the Allied liberation experience. MAJ Johnson has presented his research with the Society for Military History, the Why we Fight, 1943 podcast, and has a book chapter with the Marine Corps University Press for publication in spring 2024.
Commander Northern Military Region Sweden
Unity of Command in the High North
The presentation will describe the specific terrain conditions in the High North, especially Sweden, and how the climate affects this during summer and winter. Opportunities and challenges with legacy and new C4IS infrastructure will be discussed, as well as the organization of territorial and regular army units in Sweden together with their command structure. There will also be a reflection over lessons identified from wargames and how important it seems to be with a unified Nordic land command in this area. Finally, there will be a discussion about functional logistics at the division and corps level in this area before a summary where some questions will be promoted which should be answered in order to secure success in operations.
Executive Director and President
Trevor Dupuy Institute
The presentation will show research on what is required to achieve success at division-level combat and above, as well as what is necessary to have a good chance of generating a breakthough. It will also present what we know about the importance of human factors related to this.
Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analysis of lessons learned from modern military campaigns.
Mr Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He participated in studies on casualty estimates (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgencies and other subjects for the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, the Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Mr. Lawrence has written five books and made numerous analytical reports for the Department of Defense.
Commander Norwegian Army
Commanding Land Forces in the 21st Century – The Norwegian Model
2020– Commander Norwegian Army/Major General
2018–2020 Commander Brigade North/Brigadier
2014–2018 Head of Section, Section for National Security Policy, Crisis Management and preparedness, Norwegian Ministry of Defence/Colonel
2013–2014 Senior Staff Officer, Security Policy and Operations, Norwegian Ministry of Defence/Lieutenant Colonel
2013–2013 Commander NOR Police Advisory Team, ISAF/Lieutenant Colonel
2010–2013 Commander Telemark Battalion/Lieutenant Colonel
2009–2010 COS National Contingent Staff, ISAF/Lieutenant Colonel
1991–2009 Army/Armoured Corps: Squad Leader, Platoon Commander, Company Commander, Battalion COS and 2IC, Brigade G3, Instructor and Project Officer.
2023 Combined/Joint Forces Land Component Commander, Carlisle, PA 2016-2017 US Army War College, Carlisle, PA
2006–2007 Advanced Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, UK
2003 Armor Captain Career Course, Fort Knox, KY
1992–1995 NOR Military Academy
1990–1991 Cavalry Junior Officer School
2023 Legion of Merit, USA
2020 Defence Medal with laurel branch, Norway
2019 Brigade Veterans’ Federation honorary medal, Norway
2015 Defence Medal with star, Norway
2014 Medal of Merit in silver without swords, Sweden
2010 Commander of Latvian Armed Forces’ Medal, Latvia
2006 Commemoration Medal for International Peace Missions Afghanistan, Italy
2006 Defence Forces Operations Medal – Afghanistan (issued 3 times), Norway
2005 NATO – Non Article 5 NATO Medal Afghanistan
2003 Defence Forces Medal for International Operations, Norway
2002 NATO – Non Article 5 NATO Medal Balkan Operations
1991 Defence Forces Conscription Medal – Army with three stars, Norway
Commander Multinational Corps North East
Title of presentation TBC
Military career and education
2021 Commander, Multinational Corps Northeast, Szczecin
2018–2021 Commander 1st Armoured Division
2010–2017 Head of Office of the Chief of Defence, FMoD / Berlin
2016–2017 Division chief (J7) and Deputy Chief of Staff, DEU SHAPE Detachment, Mons / Belgium
2013–2016 Commander, Armoured Infantry Brigade 41 / Torgelow
2012–2013 Chief of Branch SE II 1 (Afghanistan mission and Asia-Oceania), Directorate-General for Strategy and Operations, FMoD / Berlin
2009–2012 Division chief (G3) with 1st Armoured Division / Hanover
2005–2009 Assistant Chief of Military Policy Branch, Armed Forces Staff, FMoD / Berlin
2003–2005 Commander, Tank Demonstration Battalion 93 / Munster
2001–2003 Division chief (G3) and Chief of Staff of Armoured Infantry Brigade 7 / Hamburg
1998–2001 General staff officer (G6 Op) at HQ Eurocorps / Strasbourg
1996–1998 Student on National General/Admiral Staff Officer Course, Bundeswehr Command and Staff College / Hamburg
1993–1996 Company commander with Tank Demonstration Battalion 93 / Munster
1992–1993 Company commander with Tank Battalion 84 / Lüneburg
1988–1992 Platoon leader and intelligence officer with Tank Demonstration Battalion 94 / Munster
1984–1988 Student of economics and organisation at Helmut Schmidt University / Hamburg
1983–1984 Officer training with Tank Battalion 183 / Boostedt
1 August 1983 Commencement of line officer career
1 July 1982 Conscript with Tank Battalion 84 / Lüneburg
Decorations and medals
2011 Bronze Bundeswehr Foreign Duty Medal (ISAF AFG)
2011 NATO Medal (ISAF AFG)
2011 Bundeswehr Combat Action Medal (ISAF AFG)
2004 Gold Cross of Honour of the Bundeswehr
2002 NATO Medal (FORMER YUGOSLAVIA)
1999 Bronze Bundeswehr Foreign Duty Medal (SFOR)
Service in contingents and EU
2011 ISAF: Senior Mentor of 209th ANA Corps / 25th German Contingent ISAF, Mazar-e-Sharif / Afghanistan
2002 EUFOR / SFOR: MA to COS, DEU Detachment, HQ MND South-West, Mostar / Bosnia-Herzegovina
1999 SFOR: CJ5, DEU Detachment, HQ SFOR, Sarajevo / Bosnia-Herzegovina
2021 Lieutenant General
2018 Major General
2014 Brigadier General
2001 Lieutenant Colonel
1986 Second Lieutenant
Project Leader, Land Operations
Norwegian Military Academy
Land Operations on the North Calotte: The Requirement for a Dedicated Corps Command
The North Calotte is the land area of Norway, Sweden, and Finland north of the Polar Circle, approximately the size of all the Baltic states and half of Poland together. The combination of distinctive and challenging terrain, climate, and sparse infrastructure and population centres, gives special challenges for the conduct of operations. This applies across the warfighting functions which will be covered in this presentation. There will also be an assessment of what observations from the war in Ukraine may mean for operations in this area. A strong argument is put forward that there is a requirement for a dedicated corps command with extensive knowledge and experience in conducting operations in this area, both among the individual staff members and as an organizational competence.
LTC Trygve J. Smidt is an army officer working as a researcher at the Norwegian Military Academy. His operational experience ranges from tank-, platoon- and company commander as well as operations officer in an armoured battalion, through brigade operations officer and mentor at corps level plans section. He has had operational tours in Lebanon and Afghanistan. Trygve has also worked as instructor at the Land Warfare Centre training tank commanders, armoured crews and platoons as well as battalion and brigade staff. He has also worked with material procurement at the Army Staff and with economic analysis and management at the Joint Staff and Ministry of Defence.
He has a master’s degree from the Norwegian Staff College specializing in intelligence and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics (BI).
Independent Defence Consultant
The Corps Level of Command in the British Army in the 20th Century
The small size of Britain’s Regular Army hides the fact that it conducted warfighting operations at army and army group level for four years in the Great War, and six years in the Second World War. Hence its corps-level operations are generally entirely overlooked. As a guide, Britain deployed about two dozen corps, in up to five theatres, from 1914 to 1918; and about a dozen corps, in up to three theatres simultaneously, from 1939 to 1945.
On both occasions corps, and particularly their HQs, were raised largely from scratch. They conducted hundreds of operations, and a huge amount of experience was gained. Some of that experience was passed between the two World Wars, and then into the Cold War and beyond.
This presentation will consider Britain’s experience of the corps level of command in the 20th century and draw observations for contemporary operations.
Jim Storr is a former British Army officer. He is now an independent defence consultant. He studied Civil Engineering before joining the Army and serving in the British Army of the Rhine for much of the 1980s.
During a series of staff and regimental appointments in the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland and Cyprus, he studied at the Royal Military College of Science and the Army Staff College at Camberley. In the 1990s he worked on policy for the introduction of battlefield computing and was then a military adviser to operational research teams. He then spent five years writing and teaching high-level military doctrine. In 2002 he was awarded a doctorate for a thesis on the nature of military thought. He retired, after 25 years’ service, as a lieutenant colonel in 2006.
In his second career his main activities are consultancy, research, writing and teaching. He has spoken at several staff colleges and dozens of national and international conferences. His clients include defense industrial corporations, government research agencies and universities. He was professor of war studies, a part-time appointment, at the Norwegian Military Academy from 2013 to 2017. He has published five books and is currently working on a sixth.
Deputy Commanding General US V Corps
Title of presentation TBC
Maj. Gen. Timothy N. Thombleson, a National Guard general officer, assumed duties as the Deputy Commanding General of V Corps in January 2023. Prior to his arrival at Fort Knox, Thombleson served as the 38th Infantry Division Commanding General from January 2021- January 2023.
Thombleson's previous command assignments include the 38th Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General of Indiana with additional duty as Mobilization Force Generation Installation Officer in Charge - Camp Atterbury, and the Chief of Staff and J3/5/7 Director of Operations for the Indiana National Guard. His field grade command assignments are Commander 219th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and Commander 1st Battalion 152nd Infantry Regiment.
Maj. Gen. Thombleson deployed for training to The Combat Maneuver Training Center, Honenfels Germany in 2001 and Ulchi Focus Lens, Camp Long Korea in 2007, deployed in support of the Global War on Terror to Iraq in 2003 as Battalion Executive Officer, 1st Battalion 152nd Infantry Regiment and to Afghanistan in 2009 as Deputy Commander, Task Force Cyclone. He then deployed to Kuwait with 38th Infantry Division in support of Task Force Spartan in 2019 as 38th Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General for Operations. Thombleson earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from Indiana State University and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. His military institutional training includes Infantry Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms Staff and Services School and Command and General Staff Officer Course.
Maj. Gen. Thombleson’s awards include Bronze Star Medal (with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army achievement Medal (with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Unit Citation, Armed Forces Reserve Component Achievement Medal (with one Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with one Service Star), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with two Service Stars), Iraqi Campaign Medal (with two Service Stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Gold Hourglass), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with M Device), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (with Numeral 2), North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Indiana Distinguished Service Medal (with two Bronze Oak Leave Clusters), Indiana Long Service Medal (with 30 Year Disk) among others.