On the 4th of May, the first Steering Committee meeting of 2021 took place in virtual mode at the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE).

The event began after the opening remarks by the representative of the Allied Command Transformation (ACT), Major General Şefik ATAK, who thanked the representatives of the Sponsoring Nations (Albania, Italy and Slovenia), the Director and the staff of the COE for the continued support provided to ACT and the Alliance. Afterwards, the chairman, representing the Defence General Staff, officially started the meeting with the agenda’s approval.

The NATO SFA COE’s Director, Col. Massimo Di Pietro, took the floor and illustrated the adaptation process that the Centre has put in place during the pandemic, through the careful optimization of resources and the implementation of numerous virtual activities, guaranteeing the accomplishment of the Centre’s objectives. In addition, he presented the closure of the financial statements for the year 2020 and the updated project trends for the current year and shared the first draft of the Program of Work planned for 2022.

Among the many initiatives in the ambitious Program of Work for 2021 and 2022, the respective project officers illustrated in detail:

  • the concept of an annual event with working groups and qualified facilitators aimed at identifying the skills and the training profile model for SFA specialists whilst making their deployment as effective as possible in the current operational scenarios;
  • the editorial project “Insights on Strategic Advising for SFA” which, in collaboration with international experts, aims to provide a useful tool for understanding the complexity of the SFA environment and the role of Advisors;
  • the strengthening of the training offer, which from next October will be enriched with the introduction of the Institutional Advisor Course aimed at preparing military and civilian advisors at the institutional and ministerial level.

The meeting ended with the customary signature of the “Decision paper” with which the Sponsoring Nations approved the Centre’s main lines of action, the objectives achieved and those to be pursued in the medium and long term, renewing the commitment to develop and expand the relevant SFA areas of interest for the Alliance’s benefit.