NRCC-12 in Brussels
On 4-5 November 2014, the NDC’s Twelfth NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC-12) was in Brussels for the first stop on its Field Study. Led by Middle East Faculty (MEF) Director Col G. Morabito (ITA A), the group visited NATO Headquarters and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in nearby Mons.
During the stay in Brussels, Course Members attended a number of institutional presentations and briefings.
On the first morning, Course Members were warmly welcomed and addressed by NATO Military Committee Chairman General Knud Bartels. They were then briefed on “NATO’s Military Cooperation in the Framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative” by LtCol Henri Lambaré, Cooperation and Regional Security Division, International Military Staff. The following speaker was Mr Nicola de Santis, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Sector, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, who spoke about “NATO’s New Strategic Concept, the Mediterranean and the Middle East”.
After lunch, there were two more talks: “NATO’s New Partnership Policy”, by Dr Jaroslaw Skonieczka, Senior Director, Integration, Partnership and Cooperation Directorate, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division; and “New Emergency Security Challenges”, by Dr Detlef Puhl, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary General for the Emerging Security Challenges Division.
The final session of the day was with Mr Massimo Ambrosetti, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy on the North Atlantic Council, and Ms Gülin Dinç, Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey on the North Atlantic Council.
Next day, the party was met by Mrs Wilhelmina Van’t Wout Von Staten, of the Protocol and Conference Services Branch at SHAPE. Welcome remarks were made by MGen Thomas Franz, Deputy Chief of Staff, Communication and Information Systems (CIS) and Cyber Defence (DCOS CCD), Commander NATO CIS Group.
The group was then briefed on the Middle East and North Africa region by Wing Commander Simon Bowles, Deputy J2 OPS, Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre (CCOMC), Operations and Intelligence Directory (OPI). A discussion with other CCOMC Staff Officers followed, under the chairmanship of Col Editson Zarka, Director Coordination and Integration Division (COI), Military Partnerships Directorate (MIP).
After this, Course Members were given an update on efforts at SHAPE to include Partner nations in planning, with particular reference to members of the Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The speaker was Major Marc Miedziak, Development and Implementation Division (DEI), Military Partnerships Directorate (MIP), with the ensuing discussion chaired by Col Zarka.
Finally, there was a 45-minute Q&A session, moderated by BrigGen Nico Tak, Director Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre (CCOMC). The panel was made up of WgCmdr Bowles, Commander Michel Morgand, International Coordination Cell (ICI), COI, MIP, and Major Miedziak.