Clear positions and practical examples – Air Marshal Stacey visited CCOE

“It was very impressing how a three star general got to the core of the matter in an image presentation without deviating from the topic. This was magnificent experience.” said Warrant Officer Class I Michael Handscombe, participant of the interview and discussion with Air Marshal Graham Stacey at CCOE. The Air Marshal visited CCOE with a delegation on 04 December in The Hague. He was accompanied by 3 members of his staff: Brigadier General Dancho Dyakov (ACOS J9), Mr. David Foldy (Civil Advisor) and his Military Assistant Lieutenant Colonel Igor Potocnik. The intent of the visit of the Deputy Commander of Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) was to be introduced to CCOE relevant topics and to identify areas of already existing and possible future cooperation.

Air Marshal Stacey was briefed about main topics of the CCOE after an office call with CCOE’s Deputy Director Colonel Martin Braterschofsky and a lunch with CCOE’s Management Team. The JFCBS Deputy Commander demonstrated his distinct interest during the briefings listening carefully and interacting intensively with the briefers. Air Marshal Stacey stands out for having a huge amount of practical mission experience and a clear opinion about the relation between theory and practice. He asked critical questions, challenged the briefers and initiated interesting and important discussions with regards to the future of Civil Military Interaction (CMI) and Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC).

To everyone’s surprise suddenly Sinterklaas and two “zwarte Piets” interrupted the meeting knocking loudly at the door and throwing around candies. After promising to be good “boys and girls” in 2015 the briefing could be continued.Zwarte Piet_December_201420141204_0929

Picture by CCOE PAO: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

After the briefing CCOE staff and the participants of the current running NATO CIMIC Higher Command Course gathered full of expectation in CCOE’s auditorium in order to experience Air Marshal Stacey on stage. They were not disappointed. The Deputy JFCBS commander excited the audience giving clear statements, pointed remarks and practical pictured examples. With a good sense of humor he discussed lively with the audience and pointed also out that the he feels CCOE’s “energy and passion” at CCOE and that he is a great supporter of any civil military interaction as it is a precondition for succeeding in missions.

As time was getting short the Air Marshal and his delegation were said goodbye and acknowledged with applause. For the CCOE and its students this visit was a great opportunity to hear opinions about our work, lessons learned from Afghanistan and the importance of civil military interaction at first hand from an experienced commander and impressing character like Air Marshal Graham Stacey.

Story by CCOE PAO