News: NATO establishes new platform for collaboration between Allied and Partner NCO schools, May 30-2022

NATO’s Defense Training Improvement Program recently organized the first annual NCO Schools Conference together with the Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes of the Partnership for Peace and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This initiative took place from May 30th to June 2nd, 2022 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It included more than one hundred in-person and online participants, including commanders and senior enlisted commanders, as well as senior instructors from NATO allies and partners’ non-commissioned officer schools.

Petty officers are critical to the success of modern militaries as they provide critical leadership and professional example to the military personnel. Equally important are their ideas for the development of education systems. This conference is the result of previously organized workshops for non-commissioned officers to improve training in NATO allies and partner countries, aimed at synchronizing their skills through communication activities, exchange programs, curricula and sharing best practices.

The conference was also attended by members of the Ukrainian armed forces, including the acting sergeant major of the armed forces. Attendees received briefings on how effective non-commissioned officer training and development can affect outcomes on the battlefield. The Ukrainian speakers highlighted the changes made with NATO support in their military training system and the impact they had on the effectiveness and survival of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The following conference objectives were achieved: to review programs and courses offered by individual noncommissioned officer training institutions and to discuss a framework for possible future exchange programs for instructors and students; Development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between different educational institutions; discuss how the programs presented are (or can be) synergistic or improved through the exchange of best practices; To present areas of education where NATO can provide further support through its Defense Education Enhancement program.

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