On the 24th and 25th of September 2019 the NATO SFA COE hosted a Workshop entirely dedicated to Lessons Learned.

This event reflects the goal of the NATO SFA COE to improve cooperation and interoperability, ensuring a joint approach in achieving its objectives and, to support the Alliance in shaping the new strategies in this complex security environment.

The main purpose was to bring together key stakeholders within Lessons Learned (LL) Community in order to create and develop the NATO Security Force Assistance Lessons Learned Community of Interest.

It also identify the needs of NATO Nations/Partners and International Organizations regarding Security Force Assistance LL and analyse the implementation of SFA activity in the operations and analyze how the LL process could support the SFA operator project, contributing to design a common SFA Operators’ Profile within NATO.

In the first part, the attendees, using the Lessons Learned process, examined the role of the SFA Operator in operations, through the presentation of three different mission Case Studies (EUTM Somalia, Operation Inherent Resolve” Iraq, and RSM Afghanistan Senior Adviser Experience) presented by Commanding Officers recently returned from deployment.

In particular, they discussed about the pre–deployment training activities in order to standardize programmes and procedures while at the same time creating a training model.

In the second part, they divided the attendees in two working group sessions in order to discuss the requirements for the selection of the SFA operator’s profile and the consequent type of training, starting from the force generation to the re-deployment phase.

The purpose was to find out concrete solutions and provide recommendations aimed at supporting the implementation of SFA activities and contributing to improve the SFA operators’ preparation in the future.

During the Workshop, personnel from the Military Psychology and Psychiatry Office of the Italian Army General Staff analysed in depth a project promoted by the NATO SFA COE, aimed at defining the “Core competencies” of the Advisor, of the Mentor and of the Trainer in Operation, detailing the specific skills necessary to perform this role.

To achieve this, operators from different nationalities and with significant experience in the sector will be involved through questionnaires, individual interviews and participation in Focus Groups, in order to provide valuable contributions to the entire NATO community in the selection, training and evaluation of the personnel deployed in Operation as SFA Operators.

This event has been a valuable opportunity to share information and gather key stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts within the Lessons Learned Community with the aim of improving the effectiveness of NATO Human Capital in the field of Security Force Assistance.