From the 11th to the 15th of March 2024, the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE) held the first edition of the 2024 SFA Operators Course.

The aim of the course is to improve the competency and effectiveness of SFA operators working in current and future security related capacity-building missions.

It included interactive lessons, experiential learning activities, operational case studies and role-playing exercises.

The event brought together more than 30 participants. Military and civilian personnel from 9 NATO and Partner countries enhanced their skills in SFA also consolidating the ever-wider Community of Interest on Security Force Assistance.

Following the course director’s welcome, the event kicked off with a team building activity, in order to allow participants to emphasize the relevance of information sharing, effective communication and mutual support and collaboration.

During the course, several other important issues were raised.

One of the key points emphasized was the importance of assessments that feed into monitoring and evaluations of an advising mission’s progress, enabling advisors to plan solutions to advise and mentor a foreign security force and improve its capabilities.

Another significant aspect that was explored was how cultural mediation and a gender perspective could impact SFA activities in a multicultural environment integrated with NATO Policy.

Furthermore, the discussion touched upon the importance on how to improve the way we interact and communicate with people in an SFA environment, both verbally and non-verbally.

The course was also enriched by a case study of EUTM Mali, which included an analysis of the mission and provided a broader overview of Africa.