Kick-off of Field Study 2 for Senior Course 141 – First stop: Brussels
From 31 October to 2 November 2022, Senior Course 141 travelled to Brussels for the first leg of Field Study 2. Course Members attended several briefings at SHAPE and NATO Headquarters.
Day 1 took place at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). The opening remarks were delivered by the Vice Chief of Staff (VCOS), Lieutenant General Hubert Cottereau, who welcomed Course Members and briefly discussed the main challenges currently faced by the Alliance as well as the major projects of focus for NATO at the moment. This was followed by an Office Call with the NDC Commandant, Lieutenant-General Olivier Rittimann.
Afterwards, Course Members from NATO nations attended a classified briefing on “The DDA Family of Plans” and “AOR Management and Peacetime Vigilance”, delivered by Colonel David Desmist, from J5 Plans, and Colonel Kresten Hedegaard, from CCOMC – and NDC Ancien from Senior Course 140. Simultaneously, Course Members from NATO partner countries attended an unclassified briefing on ODA in support of the Deter & Defence Campaign delivered by Mr Jay Janzen, ACO Communications Director. Both briefings were followed by a Q&A session and closing remarks by Course Members from Committees 1 and 4.
The next panel was an unclassified briefing attended by Course Members from both NATO and partner countries alike. Major Mustafa Ozhan Takmakli, from the CCOMC Political and Security Analysis Staff, briefed Course Members on the financial aspects of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, with a focus on Russia’s economy amid sanctions. Colonel Kresten Hedegaard then took the floor to talk about NATO’s current operations. The last lecturer of the panel was Commander Fernando Del Pozo, Head of the TRX EPS Section, who addressed NATO’s major joint exercises. All the presentations were followed by a Q&A session and closing remarks by Course Members from Committee 1.
Mr Radoslav Hristov, OACM Consultant, subsequently delivered a lecture focused on SHAPE’s roles and responsibilities. The last briefing of the day was focused on NATO partnerships and military cooperation, presented by Rear Admiral Gunnstein Bruåsdal, DCOS of the Partnership Directorate and NDC Ancien from Senior Course 122. Both briefings were followed by Q&A sessions and closing remarks by Course Members from Committee 1. Day 1 concluded with closing remarks from the NDC Commandant.
On Day 2, Course Members visited the Waterloo Museum and attended a guided tour focused on the battlefield.
Day 3 took place at NATO Headquarters. The Director General of NATO’s International Military Staff (IMS), Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak, welcomed Course Members and talked briefly about the core tasks enshrined in the NATO Strategic Concept as well as current threats and challenges facing the Alliance. He stated that “NATO’s role is to prepare for the truth on the ground. That is why NATO agreed its new Strategic Concept during the Summit in Madrid, setting out our values, priorities, core tasks and an ambitious agenda to ensure that we can uphold our collective obligations for the security of all Allies”.
Colonel Augusto Candido, from the NATO IMS Policy & Capabilities Division, then presented a briefing focused on NATO’s current agenda, including the NATO 2030 initiative, the main outcomes of the Madrid Summit and key aspects of the NATO Strategic Concept. The briefing was followed by a Q&A session and closing remarks by a Course Member from Committee 4.
Later, Course Members from NATO nations attended two classified briefings on “Security Challenges, with a special focus on China and Asia” and on the “NATO Defence Planning Process”, by Colonel Stephan Weber, from the Joint Intelligence and Security Division, and Colonel Tim Luiten, from the NATO IMS Policy & Capabilities Division. A Q&A session and closing remarks by a Course Member from Committee 4 followed.
Meanwhile, Course Members from non-NATO countries attended two unclassified briefings on “NATO Missions and Operations”, by Colonel Sven Knacke, from the NATO IMS Operations & Planning Division, and a second briefing on the “New Strategic Concept and the implications for military cooperation” by Major Christoph Duerr, from the NATO IMS Cooperative Security Division. Both briefings were followed by a Q&A session and closing remarks by Course Members from Committee 1.
The last briefing, attended by all Course Members, focused on NATO’s crisis management and was presented by Colonel Joeri Dsinter, from the NATO IMS Operations & Planning Division, followed by a Q&A session and closing remarks by a Course Member from Committee 4. An Office Call between the NDC Commandant and the Director General of the NATO International Military Staff concluded the day.