The annual edition of the “SFA Advisors’ Enhancement Seminar” was held from the 2nd to the 5th of May 2023 at the Army Infantry School, organized by the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE) in collaboration with experts in management consultancy and professional training within NATO.

The seminar is aimed at increasing the technical-professional skills of the Advisors and consequently improving the conduct and use of the Mobile Advisors Training Team in NATO missions.

The Director, Col. Massimo Di Pietro, during his welcome speech, referred to the recent doctrinal publications of NATO, highlighting the fundamental role of the Advisors in the field of Defence and Security in support of the Alliance’s Partner Countries.

The seminar, that was aimed at civilian and military personnel who are already experienced in the subject of advising, focused on practical activities and learning methodologies, known as adult learning. In particular, the attendees practiced Team Building activities, in order to increase their cooperation and interaction skills, which are considered essential skills for SFA operators. Furthermore, during some role-playing sessions the participants were able to try their hand at advising activities in favour of a Senior Officer of a fictitious country with the help of professional interpreters and actors.

The session dedicated to case studies was enriched by the presence of Gen. B. Roberto Viglietta, former mission commander of the European Training Mission Somalia (EUTM-S), who illustrated the positive role of the Advisors in developing the capabilities and means of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) through strategic consultancy, mentoring and training activities. In addition, Gen. B. Nicola Piasente, Commander of the Taurinense Brigade, reiterated the complexity of Defense Capacity Building missions and the importance of adequate training in order to standardize the procedures and knowledge of the Advisors, allowing them to be prepared to understand the local context and the relevant actors.

The seminar, of great international value, is one of the highly specialized training events developed by the NATO SFA COE for priority partnership programs supported by NATO in order to refine the skills of military and civilian personnel in consultancy, training and capability development missions.