Undertaking commitments within unity of purpose – Coordinating Committee Meeting 2014

It was not just about meeting, informing and approving once a year – this meeting did stand out due real commitment, ideas and decisions. From 03 to 05 November 2014 the Coordinating Comitee (CC) meeting took place for the first time in the new premises in The Hague. The Representatives of the six active Sponsoring nations were invited in order to look back to CCOE’s achievements and determine the main future efforts.

The new premises were not the only one ”present” CCOE Director Colonel Roel Been presented to the CC members. It was also the first meeting where CCOE’s new contemporary IT (Information Technology) -equipment was used. After Colonel Been has welcomed the audience the German chairman Colonel Wolfgang Paulik took over highlighting the relevance of the meeting and motivating the audience for open discussions.

The presentations started with CCOE Directors annual report which pointed out CCOE milestones and achievements in 2014 like the NATO full system accreditation or the approval of the Military Committee Policy 0411/2. Regarding the tasks given by the CC members the previous year “we could do all ticks in the boxes and we achieved even more” said Colonel Been.

In several following briefings, training and education, marketing, concept and development as well as academia issues were reported and discussed. In between the used Mondopad (part of CCOE’s new IT-equipment) “recommended” a coffee brake taking a timeout itself.

In order to demonstrate the reasonable invest in contemporary IT-equipment the CC members received a practical presentation. They were impressed by the capabilities but it was also pointed out that it takes time and training to implement all the functionalities of that modern devices.CCOE CC Meeting 2014

Picture by CCOE PAO: Presentation new IT-Equipment

One of the reasons to invest in new equipment was that contrary to former times military in many cases is lacking contemporary IT-equipment comparing to civilian institutions. With the new equipment “we are technical on one level” said Professor Klaus Beckmann – Professor at Helmut-Schmidt University Hamburg (HSU HH) and key partner and promoter of the academic cooperation between the CCOE and the HSU HH.

After the practical part of the meeting Colonel Martin Braterschofsky, Chief of Staff and Deputy Director of the CCOE, addressed the most challenging topic of the meeting – the future of CCOE’s exported courses. CCOE intended to disestablish conducting NATO accredited courses in national facilities of the Sponsoring Nations. The trigger is a new NATO policy, the MC 458/3 (Military Committee Policy) published in May 2014. The policy put the foundation for the Bi-SC 75/.. series[1] in place which will be published most probably beginning 2015. One main expected change in the Bi-SC 75/2 will be that in order to ensure high quality standards NATO accredited courses can only be executed in NATO system accredited organizations like the CCOE. The intensive discussions showed different positions, needs and expectations. Finally the nation’s representatives were insistent that CCOE has to provide furthermore exported courses in 2015 and come up with a suggestion for a future approach in February 2015.

Afterwards the Program of Work 2015 was approved and Colonel Been presented CCOE’s Vision 2020. He described the progress of developing the vision and asked for CC member’s acknowledgment. The CC members were impressed and welcomed CCOE’s engagement. “It is really appreciated that CCOE is putting so much effort in the future. You did an excellent job.” said Mr. Ole Kværnø, Danish CC Member and Dean of the Royal Danish Defence College. However as well here some nations representative brought in their ideas and asked CCOE’s Director to put minor changes in the wording of the vision for their approval.

Therefore the CCOE Vision 2020 is:

“CCOE 2020 and beyond is the preferred network campus to connect people and share collective knowledge of Civil-Military Interaction to gain unity of purpose of people dedicated to respond to mission challenges.”

The Chairman summed up the first day as probably one of the “most productive CC meetings”. This may be a result of involving also experts from the CCOE and nations as back-seater and consultants. Bringing in the experts raised the intensity but also quality of discussions comparing to former CC-meetings.

After intensive discussions and informative presentations it was time to give thought to some different issues in order to continue the next day at the same high level. Therefore the meeting members had a humorous story telling guided tour through Delft. That tour ended in an inviting restaurant with impressing arrangements, polite service and delicious food.

The next day went on with presentations about achievements and future projects in the area of Lessons Learned. The Budget for 2015 was approved and information about the move from Enschede to The Hague and the next planned move to the centre of The Hague in the future were introduced. The decision minutes were drafted, the wording clarified, the consequences of decisions addressed and approved. And finally the German chairmen Colonel Paulik handed over the chairmanship for 2014-2015 to the Hungarian Representative.

CCOE CC Meeting 2014

Picture by CCOE PAO

Colonel Been summed up his first CC meeting as the Director of the CCOE with the words: “I am impressed by the commitment of the CC members. They were well prepared and had clear positions. For me this indicates the crucial importance of the CCOE and its products for the Sponsoring nations. That motivates and challenges us. We had different positions but at the end unity of purpose – like in our vision 2020.”

[1] This are the NATO Bilateral Strategic Command Directives for Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluation.

Story by CCOE Public Affairs Office