Commandant of the NATO school visits SWEDINT

During the first week of May, the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre (SWEDINT) where honoured by the visit of Colonel Mark D. Baines, commandant of the NATO School. He took the opportunity to view current cooperation’s and talk about possible future ones.

During the visit Colonel Baines was invited by Colonel Thomas Karlsson, director of SWEDINT to sit down and talk on future cooperation’s concerning peacekeeping training. This together with Colonel David Caceres, from Peru and Major Farouck Bashar from Ghana, both of whom are working in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Colonel Baines welcomed Colonel Caceres and Major Bashar to the NATO school and encouraged them to send suitable students to the schools courses.

- Since I came here we have had briefings on structures and exercises. It is clear SWEDINT and the NATO school has a lot to learn from each other, said Colonel Baines on the first day of the two day visit.

The Swedish Armed Forces through SWEDINT and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) School have a politically sanctioned memorandum of understanding concerning the NATO Operational Headquarters Officers Course (NOHSOC), which SWEDINT holds and teaches.

- The memorandum of understanding allows us to cooperate on the NOHSOC course and share knowledge. But also, I believe, to take latitude for exploring new possible cooperation’s and activities, says Colonel Baines.

During the visit Colonel Baines conferred on how the NOHSOC course, possibly in the future, can be integrated with SWEDINTs Civil Military Relation (CMR) course. Colonel Baines also took part as an observer during the weeks three current courses; United Nations Staff Officer Course (UNSOC), United Nations Civilian Staff Officer Course (UNCIVSOC) and International Staff Assistant Course (IntSAC), as they jointly conducted a Command Post Exercise (CPX).

The NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany yearly welcomes 11000 students to 90 courses; most participants are from the military sector but also civilians. The schools mission is to conduct courses in support of the current and developing strategy and policy of NATO. This includes cooperation and dialogue with military and civilian personnel from Non-NATO countries. The school provides courses in four main disciplines: Operations and Plans, Joint Operations, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threats, and Policy.