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Planning Products

Operation Planning Products from CTS

At CTS, we offer a range of operational planning services to support and train your people efficiently, effectively and within your timeframe.

Our experience of working with NATO HQs, where staff turnover is rapid and some representatives are significantly less qualified or experienced than others, enabled us to develop high level training that is also flexible.

Battlestaff in a Box (BST in a Box)

As the demand grows for more realistic and in-depth simulated military exercises, coupled with a reduction in core staffing, training your people efficiently and effectively has never been more important.

At CTS, we developed a new system of training for NATO NFS HQs which have a large rotation of staff every year, with almost a third of staff being replaced during the summer months. As this makes maintaining consistent skill levels through training especially difficult, CTS is able to help you maintain skills at the required levels.

Increasingly, NATO HQs are more reliant on their own resources to plan and deliver more demanding and complex exercises whilst having fewer people and expertise.  With the recent reductions in operational deployments, Commanders are more reliant on training to build readiness.

Why use Battlestaff in a Box training from CTS?

Our training meets the core needs of military training for HQ staff using the methods employed at NATO. Our modular approach is designed to your specific needs and requirements and will be discussed with you at every step of the way to ensure that your timelines are met.


  • Advocate-led training in sufficient time to assimilate, reflect, adapt SOPs and processes, etc, before embarking on formal exercises
  • Focuses on what is needed for the next phase, to maximise impact
  • Brings newcomers and augmentees up to speed early, reducing loss of operational capability during standby period


  • Meets the specific requirements of your training audience
  • Leverages the NATO Lessons Learnt processes to highlight emerging issues
  • Focuses on specific processes and teams or working groups
  • Scalable to size of training audience

“I want you to know that we had a fantastic exercise based, in large part, on the training you provided for us. Looking at the long journey we took over 12 months or so, the headquarters is a much more capable group.”

Hands on and active engagement

Our training is both practical and participative - it's not all 'chalk and talk' lectures.


  • Maximise relevant operational experience
  • Provide useful tools
  • Vignettes, based on desired learning outcomes
  • Full set of learning materials, including handbooks and podcasts


  • Leverage the wisdom in the room
  • Transfer of knowledge through group activities
  • Experiential, with lessons learnt through reflection
  • Foster climate of constructive challenge, to stimulate fresh thinking
  • Provides a safe environment for learning
  • Encourages delegates to think through implications for HQ in terms of organisation, structures, processes etc

“What I found most useful was the connections between abstract procedures and exemplary personal experiences.”

Experience team at your service

The SME team who design and support all BST activities have significant experience with all scenarios in current NATO use being members of the original scenario development teams. All are highly experienced in developing incidents and injects and role-playing during all exercise phases.

Their experience provides you with high level joint operational perspectives. A typical team might include experienced, high-ranking personnel such as:

  • a former 2* Field Commander, NATO Senior Adviser and Government Stabilisation Adviser
  • a former 1* logistician and ex-national Country Director for Supreme Catering in Afghanistan
  • an original Skolkan 2 scenario developer with an aviation and SHAPE KM/IM/J5 background who literally ‘wrote the book’ on KM and IM
  • aMedia professional very well known for her multiple appearances in most NATO exercises for the past 8 years
  • a White Cell Coord with extensive links throughout the IO/NGO community who led the largest-ever involvement of civilian organisations in a NATO exercise
  • a former JWC OPR, Chief MELMIL, Scenario developer, role player and political scientist with unparalleled knowledge of the NATO exercise construct
  • augmented as required perhaps by former Ambassadors, top-level members of the EU, SF or any ‘J’ number expert – or indeed any SME from the civil community from INTERPOL to Humanitarian

For more details, send us an email to john.cullen@ctsda.no and we'll start the conversation to take your training from reactive to realistic, confused to comprehensive.