Building an Efficient “Education Platform for the Future”
To achieve more effective training outcomes and more efficient training structures was the exact and collective aim that gathered more than 200 participants representing 27 NATO Nations, along with several Partners and education and training institutions, last February in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event was the 2012 Training Synchronisation Conference (TSC). So, no surprise if opening statements of Lithuanian Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) General Stéphane Abrial included strong invitations to achieve coordination of training in support of military forces.
"Unified and effective education and training leads to interoperability between forces and helps make NATO soldiers from different nations and military forces capable to conduct common operations" General Pocius said.
Touted as the "education platform for the future", the TSC provided participants with insights on the evolution of the Education and Training architecture. The conference also offered to those who are actively engaged in the building of NATO training landscapes, the opportunity to discuss common education and training issues and synchronise their efforts and priorities.
"The only way to increase capabilities across the Alliance is to do more things together, and this is exactly what we are exploring. This is why this conference is very important." stated General Abrial.
Four Meetings in One Conference
This high-level event covered four meetings:
- NATO Training and Exercises Conference (NTEC)
- NATO Individual Training and Education Conference (NITEC)
- Steering Group NATO Training Group (SGNTG)
- Education forum
The Military Training and Exercises Programme (MTEP) for 2012-2017 was presented during the NTEC which focused on synchronising NATO collective training and exercises. Feedback from Nations and Partner will be incorporated in the MTEP 2012-2017. The NTEC is co-chaired by SHAPE, represented by Colonel John Caron and ACT, represented by Colonel Paul Fleury.
About Individual Education
The NITEC brought together 27 Member and Partner nations focusing on the Education and Individual Training (EIT) contribution to Smart Defence. National training plans for ISAF were presented and made available online for all Troop Contributing Nations to ease identification of requirements in future ISAF rotations. eLearning as a tool for future collaboration training was presented in a concept paper covering key training activities, namely Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), Computer Based Training (CBT), Immersive Learning, Mobile Learning and Collaborative Learning. All participants agreed that these are tangible opportunities for present and future collaborative activities. A Quality Assurance & Accreditation initiative was introduced to further enhance common standards, explaining the necessity to move away from the control of individual courses, but instead concentrate on the Education & Training institutions where they may achieve a 'quality seal' through a transparent process of assessment. NITEC is chaired by Brigadier General Theodosios Dourouklis.
About Broad Guidelines
SGNTG is the highest training group forum for NATO and national Education & Training decision makers. Strategic level direction and guidance was provided to the subordinated Executive Working Group NTG (EWGNTG) on enhancing interoperability and standardisation among NATO and Partner nations in all training related matters. The SGNTG Meeting is chaired by Lieutenant-General Karlheinz Viereck, representing ACT, and a national Co-Chairman, Major General Per Ludvigsen, the Danish representative.
About the Future
The education Forum was opened by Viereck sharing his perspective on recent changes and achievements in the NATO Education and Training context. By providing an open venue where Education and Training Facilities, Centres of Excellence and Partner Training and Education Centres can discuss as equals, collectively shaping the future of training in NATO, the education Forum met its intended goal.
Everybody left Vilnius with a great amount of data, guidelines and useful contacts and all looked forward to the next conference to be held in Riga, Latvia, in February 2013.
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