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NDC - News-SC 142 continues its Field Study to Luxembourg

SC 142 continues its Field Study to Luxembourg

  • 22 Mar. 2023
  • |
  • Last updated: 21 Jan. 2024 12:55

Course Members travelled to Luxembourg where, on 20 March 2023, the delegation was briefed by representatives of the Directorate of Defence at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg.

SC 142 continues its Field Study to Luxembourg

On Saturday 18 March, upon arrival in Luxembourg, General Steve Thull, the Chief of Defence Staff of Luxembourg, warmly welcomed the NDC delegation. The opening event was followed by an Office Call with Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann, Commandant of NATO Defense College.

To begin Monday’s academic programme, COL Gilles Colmant, Faculty Advisor and Belgian Senior National Representative at the NDC, introduced the first briefer of the day, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Schons, Capability Director and Head of Strategic Plans Department of the Strategic Division within the General Staff of Luxembourg Armed Forces, who gave a comprehensive briefing on the country and its armed forces. He spoke of the operational engagements and commitments of the armed forces and its presence in many missions and operations around the world, including the country’s contribution to the NATO Response Force and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). Defence planning and partnerships were also topics that LTC Schons touched upon in his presentation. He offered valuable insights on capability development and the transition to a new defence model.

The following presentation was on security and defence policy, led by Mr Tom Köller, Director of Defence. Mr Köller described the political framework and cooperation with strategic partners. He spoke at length on capability development and challenges, including renovation of infrastructure and equipment for the future. The lecturer also highlighted how Luxembourg is supporting Ukraine by way of material and financial support. The academic programme was followed by a Q&A period during which Course Members raised several questions on the war in Ukraine and Luxembourg’s support to Ukraine, plans for recruitment, the country’s contribution to NATO, the Vilnius Summit, lessons learned from COVID-19, and deterrence and defence.

The second part of the morning continued with a presentation on the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, by Mr Ian Woodbrigde, Acting Deputy Director Support to Operation of NSPA. After providing an outlook about what the NSPA does and its strengths. He provided an outlook on the agency, visibility, ongoing programs and partnerships, and explained how countries participate through contributions and personnel. The Q&A session opened with questions regarding the defence industry, supply chains, and contracting.

Mr Ben Fetler, from the Directorate of Defence as Cyber Defence Principal Advisor in charge of coordinating the implementation of the county’s Cyber Defence Strategy, presented a briefing on Cyber Defence, its organizational structure, strategy, capabilities, national and international operations. In his presentation, Mr Fetler focused on the organization, long term objectives, the workforce and priorities. He provided insights on national and international cooperation.

The last presentation of the day was on space defence, during which M Geoffroy Beaudot, Space Leader for Luxembourg Defence, briefed Course Members on the general context, NATO, EU and the war in Ukraine. He continued with strategy and the Defence Space Strategy Guidelines, the first document published in Luxembourg on this matter. Mr Beaudot pointed out how Luxembourg contributes to support missions, operations and crisis management with SATCOM, and its contributions to the operations in Mozambique and Mali, under NATO, and with the Belgian Navy. Mr Beaudot concluded his presentation by emphasizing how Luxembourg has made an impact through its overall contributions to security and defence. In the Q&A session, CMs focused on cooperation, ethical problems in cyberspace, China’s actions in cyberspace, deterrence, and the potential invocation of article 5 following a cyberattack.

NDC Public Affairs Office