The SFA Advisor’s Enhancement Seminar took place from the 27th to the 30th of September 2021 at the ITA Army Infantry School’s Officers Club. The NATO SFA COE seminar focused on the enhancement and optimization of skills, attitudes and the professional training cycle of civilian and military personnel to be employed in SFA activities.

The seminar was organized by the NATO SFA COE in collaboration with specialists from Cadence Consulting, a management consulting and professional training company recognized as an institute of consulting within the NATO context.

During the seminar, the participants examined the results of the “SFA Operator Project“, aimed at researching the requirements, skills and qualities that the SFA operator (Advisor, Mentor and Trainer) should have in order to work as effectively as possible within the changing realities of current operational scenarios.

The seminar was structured in a series of theoretical and practical role-playing sessions in which the participants interacted individually and in teams with professional actors, simulating meetings with military, civilian and local authorities through the intermediation of an interpreter.

Among the most important topics, the following roused particular interest:

  • the importance of defining and standardizing the selection and training process of civilian and military advisors within NATO;
  • the need to establish a pool of SFA Specialists, a carefully selected specialized professional figure, to support SFA activities both on site and remotely from the Homeland;
  • the opportunity to equip the SFA operator with professional skills in relationship techniques, effective communication and persuasion.

The event was met with unanimous appreciation by the participants and lays the foundations for including the seminar in the NATO SFA COE’s training offer to complement and refine the knowledge acquired with the SFA Operators and Institutional Advisor Course.

In addition, the seminar proved to be a fruitful opportunity to strengthen the Community of Interest on SFA even during the pandemic period, demonstrating its resilience and uniqueness of purpose. Based on these notions, the distinctiveness of the COE must be promoted on the international scene, as a hub for sharing expertise and professionalism for the improvement of the human dimension that is a central role in Security Force Assistance activities.