Article by Maggie Spivey
Instructors from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), the Bosnia and Herzegovina Peace Support Operations Training Centre, and the Finnish Defence Forces International Centre—all NATO Partnership for Peace Training and Education Centers (PTCs)— collaborated to instruct a United Nations’ Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) course from September 12 – 23 at the Kyrgyz Separate Rifle Battalion in Bujum, Kyrgyzstan.
The 2-week course was part of the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) for Central Asia and was organized by NPS, the United States’ PTC (USPTC). According to the Department of State website, “GPOI was launched as the U.S. contribution to the broader G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, adopted at the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit.
“GPOI is a U.S. government-funded security assistance program intended to enhance international capacity to effectively conduct United Nations and regional peace support operations (PSOs) by building partner country capabilities to train and sustain peacekeeping proficiencies; increasing the number of capable military troops and formed police units (FPUs) available for deployment; and facilitating the preparation, logistical support, and deployment of military units and FPUs to PSOs.”
Coordinating the efforts in support of this GPOI course was Ms. Tahmina Karimova, consultant to the USPTC Program Office, who worked closely with Maj. Brandon Kleehammer, Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation for the Kyrgyz Republic. Also joining Karimova from NPS was Mr. Alan Howard, USPTC Program Deputy Director, and Lt. Col. Chris Nannini, Military Instructor, and Mr. Paul Roeder, Research Associate, both with the Graduate School of Operations and Information Sciences.
Attended by senior officers from the Bujum and Osh military battalions who will deploy in support of PSO or instruct those deploying, the course was divided into two phases. During Phase I, participants became more knowledgeable about the UN system, current UN PKO training guidelines, education and training methodologies, and curriculum development.
As Karimova stated, “syndicate discussions, offered at the end of each session with a high degree of instructor’s guidance and supervision, were helpful in discussing particular subjects for the consolidation of the topics taught during this phase and the exchange of knowledge and expertise.”
During Phase II, the course focused primarily on the Peace Support Operations Model (PSOM) as a simulation tool for the planning and execution of PSO. “The PSOM allowed the participants to combine acquired knowledge and skills from the lectures offered during the first week with practical exercises of the second week, which was instrumental in refining the participants’ input into the PSO environment,” said Karimova.
During the course wrap-up, students stated they were very interested in PSOM and suggested that in the future, they would like to delve deeper into modeling/simulation and construct the scenarios with the instructors, using their prospective peacekeeping environments and examples from past PKO missions.
As the Global Peace Operations Initiative currently extends through the end of fiscal year 2014, the Naval Postgraduate School and its fellow PTCs have the opportunity to continue assisting partner country efforts in building sustainable, indigenous peacekeeping training capacity.
Posted October 9, 2011
Photo credit: Tahmina Karimova