Staff procedures, meaning planning and execution of military operations, can be done in many different ways. But in an international environment, where many nations work together, everyone has to do it the same way. Otherwise it takes a lot of effort to get the order or message through.
To ensure the level of competence, SWEDINT, arrange Staff Officers Courses, both for Nato /Partnership for Peace (PfP) and UN-missions.
– The difference between a NATO-and an UN-mission is not that big today. The staff procedures are almost the same, but they have a different angel. The PfP-courses are more focused on the military perspective, while UN-missions are led by civilians (UN special representative of the secretary general/SRSG) and where we cooperate with civil actors and organizations much more, already during their training here at SWEDINT, Per Kristensen, Course director for the NATO/PfP Staff Officers Course (PFP SOC), says.
For example, the UN-course (UN SOC) in October has a final exercise together with a UN police- and a UN civilian staff course. The concept is called “UN Integrated mission” and this training is unique for SWEDINT.
– But we have got role players acting as UN police or civilian UN staff, ICRC etc. at the PfP-course as well. We can not live in a vacuum, we need to adjust to reality, Per Kristensen says.
The aim for the PfPSOC is to prepare the student for service in a multinational brigade. The students come from different countries and have different level off knowledge. The first two weeks are filled with lectures and seminars of internationally experienced and updated personnel. The third week ends with a practical exercise. All students need to be prepared for long working hours.
– It takes a lot of motivation to attend this course, but that is no problem because they know that they soon will do the job for real, Per Kristensen says.
Jacob Fredriksson, one of the students, says that the most valuable thing during the course is to build network.
– One of the Finish students is going to the same place as I am and we will work together, he says.
In the next room, Jorge Esteves from Portugal and Eveli Sammelselg from Estland, help each other to finish a work at the computer. They say:
– The course has reached its objectives. We are better prepared now than we were when the course started.