On the 16th of June 2021, General Paolo Ruggiero, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia visited the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE).

The Director of the Centre, Col Massimo Di Pietro, while retracing the conceptual and doctrinal bases of SFA in NATO, which underlie the constitution and purposes of the Centre of Excellence, illustrated the main research activities that derive from ACT’s Request for Support of 2021, and anticipated the projects submitted for the Steering Committee’s approval included in the “2022 Work Program”.

Among the important projects for the SFA Community of Interest, emphasis was given to the definition of the professional profile of the SFA operator, which is understood as Advisor, Mentor and Trainer. In this context, the NATO SFA COE conducted a series of interviews (with military and civilian personnel from numerous countries) aimed at collecting and processing data useful for defining the skills, aptitudes and professional training necessary to hold these positions in order to work effectively in any environment and at various levels of operations. The project also includes the organization of an annual event (SFA Advisor Enhancement seminar), aimed at testing and standardizing the identified profile model and helping to improve the conduct of Mobile Training Teams and Advisors in the missions to support Defence Capacity Building, whilst ensuring continuity and adherence to the changing reality of the intervention area.

In addition, the fruitful synergy between the NATO SFA COE and the Stability Policing Centre of Excellence (NATO SP COE) was emphasized in the conduct of the recent seminar for “Institutional Advisors” for joint and multinational personnel expected to be deployed abroad with advising assignments.

At the end of the meeting, the General, expressed his appreciation for the high profile of the projects and objectives achieved, highlighting how the collaboration between the Centre, NATO and partner countries plays an essential role in the development of civilian and military capabilities for the benefit of the whole Alliance.

The NATO SFA COE, in fact, has been accredited by NATO to provide a unique capability to the Alliance and its partners in the field of Security Force Assistance, improving their effectiveness and promoting the stabilization of conflict and post-conflict areas.