On the 17th of November 2021, at the Army Infantry School’s Officers Club, the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE) held the second Steering Committee meeting in full compliance with the pandemic’s prevention regulations.

Among the participants, in addition to the Sponsoring Nations (Albania, Italy and Slovenia), other international representatives such as Austria, France and Hungary were also present as observers.

After the Chairperson’s and the Allied Command for Transformation (ACT) representative’s welcome address, the NATO SFA COE Director, Col. Massimo Di Pietro, provided an update on the main activities carried out in 2021. In particular, he mentioned the recent successful renewal of the Centre’s NATO accreditation, for having ensured continuity in compliance with the high standards envisaged and for the numerous initiatives undertaken to encourage collaboration between the Centre, NATO and Partner Countries.

During the conference, with the support of the Albanian Ministry of Defence, an agreement was signed between the NATO SFA COE and the Military Academy of the Albanian Armed Forces (AFA), further strengthening the synergistic collaboration between the Centre and its Albanian Sponsoring Nation, in the field of research and training of Security Force Assistance activities, for the benefit of NATO and its Partners.

Subsequently, the 2022 Program of Work was unanimously approved, full of activities and ambitious projects that include the realization of further editorial research initiatives, seminars on the role of advisors at the operational and institutional level, participation in the main NATO exercises and conferences as SFA Subject Matter Experts.

Among other important novelties, in order to increase efficiency, a new organizational structure of the Centre was reviewed and approved, that allows certain positions to be filled through a Voluntary National Contribution (VNC), giving the possibility to other military and civilian personnel, with specific professional skills, to be assigned to the COE for a predetermined period of time, useful for the realization of specific projects.

Although the NATO SFA COE is a young entity, it is determined to expand its Community of Interest with as many foreign military and civilian entities as possible and to establish itself as an international reference hub in the field of Security Force Assistance.