From the 4th to the 8th of April, the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE) organized the first edition of the 2022 SFA Operators Course.

The purpose of the course is to train civilian and military personnel who will be employed in Stabilization and Defence Capacity Building operations. In particular, it provides a method of analysis to the SFA Operators as well as an integrated approach to improve their capabilities, skills and performance.

The course is structured in theoretical and practical modules conducted by qualified lectures from NATO and International Organizations, with interactive lessons, experimental learning activities, operational case studies and role-playing.

The event brought together more than thirty civilian and military participants from different NATO and non-NATO countries, consolidating the ever-wider Community of Interest on Security Force Assistance.

The course began with an experimental learning activity, imparting knowledge on how to work as a team whilst providing opportunities for the participants to interact with each other and to share common objectives.

Afterwards, they acquired the analysis and evaluation methods to map the stakeholders and their role in an operational scenario by practising to effectively identify the indicators of risk and success in SFA, both endogenous and exogenous.

Particular attention was given to the discussion of the requirements, skills and aptitude that an SFA Operator must possess. In this regard, the NATO SFA COE subject matters expert explained the results of a complex research project concerning the “SFA Operator Profile”. Based on interviews and psychological profiling, the project sought to identify the professional figure best suited for operating in the changing realities of the current operational scenarios.

To increase their skills, attendees actively participated in role-playing. This provided an opportunity to interact with actors who played the local authorities, facing the difficulties of engagement related to language, mediation through an interpreter and applying the negotiation techniques and tools of cultural awareness discussed during the lessons.

Planned as a blended learning solution both on-line and in presence, the course is a valid and consolidated training solution that, together with the other courses conducted by the NATO SFA COE, is present on the Alliance dedicated catalogue – Education and Training Opportunities Catalogue (ETOC).