GFOAC 2015-2 (II) - Brussels
From Monday 16 November to Wednesday 18 November 2015, the second Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors’ Course of 2015 (GFOAC 2015-2) concluded with three intensive days of lectures and discussions in Brussels.
Arriving at NATO Headquarters on the morning of 16 November, the delegation, led by the NDC Dean Dr Daria Daniels Skodnik (SVN C), and organized by Course Director BrigGen Heinz-Josef Feldmann (DEU A), was received by Commander Jose Henriques (PRT N), International Military Staff, Operations & Planning Division (IMS-OPS). During the day, Course Members attended several institutional presentations and briefings given by distinguished speakers: LtGen Mark Schissler (USA F), Deputy Chairman Military Committee; H.E. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow (USA D), Deputy Secretary General; Mr Timo Koster (NLD C), Director Defence Policy and Capabilities Directorate, on behalf of the Assistant Secretary General Defence Policy and Planning Division, International Staff; MGen Josef Blotz (DEU F), Director Operations & Planning Division, International Military Staff; Mr Patrick Turner (GBR C), Assistant Secretary General, Operations Division, International Staff; and RADM Emil Eftimov (BGR N), Director Cooperative Security Division, International Military Staff.
All presentations concluded with dynamic question and answer sessions, covering the full range of topics being discussed throughout NATO.
The programme for the following day offered lectures by a number of speakers: Col Hans Buehl (DEU A), Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Representative; MGen José Manuel Esperana da Silva (PRT A), Supreme Allied Commander Europe Representative; Dr Jamie Shea (GBR C), Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges Division, International Staff; Mr Ted Whiteside (CAN C), Deputy Assistant Secretary General Public Diplomacy Division, International Staff; Mr James Mackey (USA C), Head of Euro-Atlantic Integration and Partnership on behalf of the Assistant Secretary General, Political Affairs and Security Policy(PASP), International Staff.
Each of the presentations was followed by a challenging question and answer period.
On the last day of the course, participants had the opportunity to engage with three speakers from the European Union. Welcoming remarks were given by BrigGen Heinz Krieb (DEU A), Director Concept and Capability Directorate EUMS, who briefed the group on “The role of the military in the EU, including EU military operations”.
Mr Bernard Rambaud (FRA C), EU Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CM PD), then spoke on “The role of CMPD in the EEAS, the Comprehensive Approach and EU civilian-military cooperation, with an overview of civilian and military missions/operations”.
The final presentation was by Mr Frank Neisse (FRA C), EU Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), who spoke about “The role of CPCC in the EEAS and the state of play of dedicated civilian CSDP missions”.
This edition of the high-level GFOAC Course was of great value and interest to participants, thanks to a combination of lectures and question periods with experts. Exchanges of viewpoints among the Course participants also brought considerable added value.