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Working together on the Operational Capabilities Concept and Counterinsurgency


"We consider Serbia and its Armed Forces a reliable and trustworthy partner. Trainings such as this one provide an opportunity to share opinions, experiences and knowledge, which in return increases our readiness to address today’s ever-evolving challenges. We listen and learn from each other. These two courses, led by our colleagues from Allied Joint Force Command Naples are tailored to the needs of Serbia and its Armed Forces. The Serbian authorities requested it and we are glad that we could provide it. We discussed a number of challenges, which we all face, regardless of where we are, since modern-day threats know no boundaries.” – said Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Franz, German Armed Forces, from the Military Cooperation Division of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, coordinator of the courses:  NATO Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) and Counterinsurgency Mobile Training Team (COIN MTT).
 

Brig. Gen. Cesare Marinelli, Chief NATO MLO Belgrade and Lt. Col. Thomas Franz, JFC Naples
 
 
A three-day tailor-made course for 22 officers of the Serbian Armed Forces took place at the military barracks in Pancevo. Through interactive coursework and workshops, seven lecturers – officers from NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples – exchanged ideas and experiences with their Serbian counterparts and gave instructions to SAF officers on the scope and importance of understanding the different forms and approaches regarding counterinsurgency operations and civil-military cooperation operations. Participants covered a wide range of topics, focusing on information operations, comprehensive approach, and also dealing with military topics, such as countering improvised explosive devices and engagement of Special Forces in counterinsurgency operations.
 
Underlining the importance and benefits of this cooperation, Lt. Col. Thomas Franz said that "the training program is developed in a way that enables certain military units and in some cases military systems of partner countries to meet NATO standards of interoperability. This means that NATO forces and partner countries can operate together in missions and operations across the globe, as Serbia does now. For example, thanks to the OCC process, certain units of the Serbian Armed Forces can easily integrate into ongoing operations. As a direct result of this, the number of peacekeeping troops contributed by partner countries has significantly increased, especially in UN-led missions, as the UN recognizes NATO’s added value in boosting the level of interoperability amongst international forces. NATO’s Operational Capabilities Concept is a process, it is a long-term engagement, our work is never finished, new recruits who need to be trained are coming, and NATO evaluation status needs to be reassessed after two years.” He also reiterated that NATO fully respects Serbia’s neutrality and very highly appreciates the country’s contribution to EU-led and UN-led peacekeeping operations.
 
 
Lt. Col. Thomas Franz at the military barracks in Pancevo with SAF officers

Lt. Col. Thomas Franz said he is honored to be in Serbia as a representative of NATO and for being given the opportunity to exchange ideas with Serbian officers, who have proven to be highly cooperative and able to take in new knowledge with ease, in addition to being very responsible and participating actively throughout the trainings.
 
 
Lecturer from JFC Naples with SAF officers at the military barracks in Pancevo
 
 

Lecturer from JFC Naples with SAF officers at the military barracks in Pancevo
 
Lecturer from JFC Naples with SAF officers at the military barracks in Pancevo
 
 
 
 

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