On the 2nd of December 2021, the NATO SFA COE organized a roundtable hosting a delegation from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Minerva Research Initiative and experts from the “Centre Terre pour le Partenariat Militaire Opérationnel” of the French Armée de Terre, and a representative from the Italian Army SFA section, in order to analyze the future challenges of the SFA field.

The US delegation came from the US Department of Defense Minerva, a team aimed at seeking to better understand how the US, NATO and friendly partners design the Foreign Military Training (FMT) doctrines in line with their national interest and broader alliance objectives.

The US delegation presented the outcomes of their study on the US SFA commitment in Afghanistan with the aim to further their research through direct interviews of NATO and Partner Units, HQs and military think tanks and to widen their national perspective on SFA.

The NATO SFA COE Director, Col Massimo Di Pietro, illustrated the NATO SFA doctrine and principles and the main differences with the US doctrine. Subsequently, he explained the important role of the SFA COE in developing new concepts and ideas from SFA best practices and Lessons Learned. Some of these ideas becomes financed projects such as publications, training offers and study research for the benefit of NATO interoperability in the SFA field.

During the roundtable, the Italian Army Infantry School representative presented a case study based on his experience in NIGER as a SFA advisor, while the French delegation shared their wide experience in assistance mission in central Africa and some insights on European Training Missions.

The roundtable ended with a very fruitful discussion about all the notions and different perspectives raised during the meeting, reflecting the idea of analyzing the Afghan experience and the future challenges in the SFA field, to further improve the support and the contribution that the NATO SFA COE may give to NATO and the international environment.