Special Ops meet CIMIC

Picture: Graham Townsend during his speech/ Source: CCOE/Dube

On June 16th, sixteen participants of the Special Operation Forces (SOF) Leadership Course “Catalyst for Change”, representing thirteen countries, met with the CCOE to share their experience on the application of Civil-Military Cooperation within their operations. The flagship course at the NATO Special Operations School in Chièvres, Belgium, focusses on the operations of Special Forces and their partners operating in a complex crisis environment

Commander Graham Townsend, the course director said: “Today’s mutual exchange with the experts at the CCOE has been a tremendous opportunity for us to receive an update on Civil-Military Integration in our own operational areas. Similarly, I am confident that the CCOE staff enjoyed our perspective on the application of CIMIC standards and will incorporate this into future aspect of training and education.”

In the 21st century complex operating environment and tasked with integrating NATO and partner special operations into the comprehensive and integrated approach, Special Forces are also turning their attention to Civil-Military interaction. In line with the demand to make CIMIC training available to all branches of the Military, participants from both sides focused on mutual touch points in matters of hybrid warfare, the Very High Readiness Task Force (VJTF) concept, Civil Information Management System and Article V and non-article V engagements.

The course participants were introduced to core aspects of NATO CIMIC by members of the respective CCOE branches. Likewise, the CCOE staffers followed the experiences and perspective of the SOF operatives regarding the contribution of Special Operations Forces to the integrated approach and future conflict resolutions.

Following the results of the CIMIC / CMI Annual Discipline Conference 2016, requiring the implementation of CIMIC into all Military training, the CCOE will also play a role in shaping the non-kinetic aspect of the SOF activities.

By CCOE/Public Affairs Office/Tilman Engel