NATO defence educators meet to boost interoperability with partner armed forces
NATO and the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes hosted the 12th Clearing House on Defence Education in Bled, Slovenia, from 20 to 21 June 2023, with support from the Slovenian Armed Forces Military Schools Centre. The Clearing House was opened by the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, Major General Robert Glavaš. “With a grave deterioration of the security situation in Europe after 2014, the importance of interoperability and professional military training and education in the Alliance and in partner nations has become of crucial importance,” Major General Glavaš said. “Only well trained military personnel will be able to deal with current and future security challenges, and helping partner nations develop their professional military education must remain one of our most important goals,” he added.
The Director for Defence and Security Cooperation at NATO, Piers Cazalet, reiterated the significance of "intellectual interoperability" among NATO and partner countries. In the aftermath of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the need for NATO partners to operate in an interoperable manner with NATO forces has become even more vital. Ukraine is an example of a country that has since 2014 benefited from the assistance provided by the Defence Education Enhancement Programme in aligning its Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer corps with NATO standards.
Representatives from across the Alliance emphasised further the unique and critical role that professional military education has in strengthening the resilience and security and defence capacity of individual partner countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Moldova.
This flagship event brought together 107 participants, representing 23 countries and 62 defence education institutions supporting the efforts of NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme. Through the annual multinational Clearing House, this NATO programme offers an invaluable platform to take stock of defence education initiatives and share best practices. The meeting helped identify and meet partners’ needs, develop synergies and cooperation, and harmonise NATO and bilateral efforts.