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Strengthening defences: NATO’s support to Ukraine’s lessons learned efforts

Staff from the Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre, one of three subordinate commands to NATO Allied Command Transformation, recently engaged with members of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the Non-Governmental Organization Boryviter, which functions as Ukraine’s centre of excellence for training and lessons learned and which has been developing Ukraine’s national Lessons Learned Portal.

 

Boryviter was established in April 2022 in response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. Their mission is to provide educational, training and professional development support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is accomplished by providing intensive and free training courses, as well as by enhancing Ukraine’s capabilities to independently provide modern and efficient training based on NATO standards.

 

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As NATO’s strategic warfare development command, Allied Command Transformation works to better understand and overcome the challenges facing the Alliance and its partner nations, like Ukraine. By leveraging over two-decades of experience housed at the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, which is NATO’s Lead Agent for Lessons Learned, the Alliance enhances its Military Instrument of Power to ensure it remains adaptable and ready to respond to emerging crises.

Earlier this year the Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre provided support to the NATO-Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund with a briefing on, and a live demonstration of, the NATO Lessons Learned Portal.

The development of the Ukrainian national Lessons Learned Portal—which has been based on the real-world experience of collecting observations on and from the battlefield—has been influenced by the Ukrainian Armed Forces experience with the NATO Lessons Learned Portal and the NATO Lessons Learned Process and Capability.  The NATO Lessons Learned Portal is NATO’s single tool for the capture, analysis, and sharing of all information related to NATO’s ability to learn from experiences, whether from operations, exercises, or other ongoing activities. The Portal is the gateway to NATO’s Lessons Learned Process, which ensures that observations captured in the field/office are analysed to identify if they are lessons to be learned or best practice to maintain. Both the NATO Lessons Learned Portal and the NATO Lessons Learned Process form part of the overarching NATO Lessons Learned Capability which you can read more about on the website of the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre.

 

 

In this context, the Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre recently organized a live, virtual demonstration session of the NATO Lessons Learned Portal, during which members of the NATO Lessons Learned Portal Team walked their Ukrainian counterparts through the portal using the online training model developed for these types of demonstrations.

Representatives from the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces Lessons Learned Branch, the Centre of Information Projects, the Centre of Scaling Technical Solutions, and the Centre of Innovations (Aerorozvidka), as well as from the National Defence University, attended the session. Participants were able to follow the demonstration in real time, ask the NATO Lessons Learned Portal Team members questions, and discuss experiences and insights from developing their National Lessons Learned Portal.

This demonstration was then followed up by an engagement between representatives from Boryviter and staff from the Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre. The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre team were able to offer insights and experience from testing and developing the NATO Lessons Learned Portal and, in turn, the participants from Boryviter asked questions about the portal well as the NATO Lessons Learned Process. and shared their insights and experiences from the comparatively rapid development of this national Lessons Learned Portal, currently being tried and tested in the demanding circumstances of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

 

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The continued support offered by the Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre to the Ukrainian armed forces represents NATO’s continued efforts to enhancing the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As Ukraine continues to face the challenging circumstances of Russia’s ongoing conflict, the exchange of insights and experiences has not only strengthened the development of their national Lessons Learned Portal but also emphasized the critical role of the Lessons Learned process in times of peace, crisis, and war.

Through this partnership, NATO’s commitment to supporting its partner nations, like Ukraine, in their pursuit of expanding their capabilities, is evident. The Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre’s contributions have not only supported the development of a valuable resource for the Ukrainian military but also reinforced the Alliance’s adaptability and readiness to address emerging crises. This collaboration is a testament to the enduring bond between NATO and its partners in promoting peace, security, deterrence and defence.

 

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