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NPS Helps NATO Partners Navigate Military Transformation

Article by Kate Lamar; Photos courtesy of Scott Jasper

Conference ParticipantsA team of professors from the Naval Postgraduate School joined with several military commands to lead a Partnership for Peace (PfP) seminar aimed at improving NATO’s joint warfare and crisis response capabilities.

"The Partnership for Peace transformation course offers participants from NATO partners a chance to examine and discuss NATO transformation initiatives that directly influence their own national transformation roadmaps,” said Scott Moreland, a NPS Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) faculty member who attended the seminar. “The interactive setting is ideal for exchanges of ideas, critiques and practical advice."

The seminar, which took place Sept. 27-30 in Norfolk, Virginia, was the third iteration of the course and drew instructors from NPS, the Allied Command Transformation, the Joint Forces Command and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. It was the first to occur in the U.S., though it drew international participation. Representatives from both NATO and NATO partner countries attended the seminar, including officials from the U.S., Austria, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Armenia and Jordan.

“The American Armed Forces represent the gold standard, and the rest of the world is interested in hearing about how we tackle challenges,” said Dan Moran, a professor in the NPS National Security Affairs department who spoke at the seminar. “They each have their own unique challenges that naturally don’t always match up with ours, but these nations value our perspectives on defense transformation.”

According to retired Navy Capt. Scott Jasper, the International Defense Transformation Program Manager for CCMR, this course was representative of the educational outreach that NPS can provide as NATO’s only U.S.-based Partnership for Peace Training and Education Center.

“This all-inclusive seminar, comprised of interactive presentations and practical group exercises, provided a valuable engagement venue for partner nations to consider common security challenges inside the cooperative framework of the NATO alliance,” said Jasper.

The goal of the seminar was to share a framework for evaluating the uses of new technologies, new organizational structures and improved military processes. Moreland highlighted the benefits of working with NATO partners when exploring these issues: "We have to find ways to work in a smarter, more unified fashion. Complex operations such as crisis response, stability and reconstruction, and counter-insurgency require close cooperation. In order to truly align our efforts, we need to capitalize on every opportunity to train and learn together."

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