Joint Cooperation 2020 - the largest NATO CIMIC exercise takes place virtually

Joint Cooperation (JOCO) is the largest CIMIC exercise of NATO, which is conducted by the Multinational CIMIC Command in Nienburg (MN CIMIC CMD) in Northern Germany. This year JOCO celebrates its 10th anniversary, but significantly different than planned. 

Like all others, the CIMIC community is restricted in its activities by the spread of COVID-19. In the first half of 2020, the world stood still for many. Restrictions were implemented, not only in private but also in professional life. Homeoffice was demanded, and for the first time, many soldiers served from home.  Even today: the less contact with other people, the better!

Conclusion - rethink and find alternatives! 

No sooner said than done!

© MN CIMIC Cmd: Logo Joint Cooperation 2020

On short notice, the organisers of the Joint Cooperation 2020 decided against cancellation and built a virtual exercise around the latest event. CIMIC units from 19 nations, local authorities and IOs and NGOs form this year's participants. Even if that implies taking part in an exercise from the livingroom table in the form of video and telephone conversations.

The aim is to learn from experience gained and to improve existing processes in an international context with military and civil actors. Exercises like this are the only way to be prepared better for future emergencies of a similar magnitude.

Integrating academic knowledge

As the years before, students are part of the exercise. The cooperation with Academia in the field of CIMIC stays an essential part of JOCO. Whether as role players, translators or actual staff assistants, students from various institutions have helped shape JOCO over the past decade.

Students can access the open-source material and have virtual conversations with the head of the MN CIMIC CMD, Colonel Timm, in person.

Let's take a look back!  

© MN CIMIC Cmd: Logo Joint Cooperation 2009

In the last ten years, the Multinational CIMIC Command (MN CIMIC CMD) has developed and conducted the largest and most well known CIMIC exercise  NATO-wide. Several hundred participants, from almost 30 nations, as well as the leading IOs and NGOs take part. Civilian actors are also integrated into the exercise over a large area around Nienburg. Whether at a press conference in the town hall, at the airport in Hannover, in surrounding hospitals and at prominent points that have importance for the infrastructure - everyone plays their role and let the exercise become a realistic scenario.

© MN CIMIC Cmd: The team of the first Joint Cooperation 2009

A small contribution from afar

Traditionally, the CCOE would actively support several teams. This time we are taking part virtually from a 500 km distance.

We wish all participants success and exciting news, insights and opportunities to improve our resilience and capabilities. We are confident that the 11th JOCO will take place in Nienburg as usual and we look forward to seeing you again soon.