NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Course
Over 80 participants, including students and staff, arrived at FINCENT at the end of last week, to participate in the NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Course. COPC is led by NATO School Oberammergau and facilitated by FINCENT.
The two week course prepares the students to take part in the NATO Planning process at an operational level. The course consists of professionals from 18 different nations. The course will help the students to fully participate in NATO operational planning process. Challenges at an operational level are being investigated and responsive solutions being created and critically evaluated. Students are given a wide study material, which enables them to immerse themselves in the scenario and function as part of a Joint Operational Planning Group.
COPC especially stands out with one feature, the senior mentor of the course is also a former commander from a NATO command structure and holds both of the roles during the course. Due to the senior mentor’s role also as a commander, the students get a feeling of a real-life situation. The competent supporting staff consists of military personnel from various military forces with different career paths.
An intensive course like COPC demands a lot from the participants. To assimilate a great amount of information in a limited time is challenging. Knowing the facts in theory is not enough while dealing with possible operational scenarios, therefore hands-on exercises take up a major time of the course schedule. At the end of the course, students should be able to aggregate all the information from different sources and aspects to show development of a wide knowledge of Operational planning. However, the course only provides the base to understand the process, the functional areas will be reached through work tasks.
Facilitating this NATO School course is a great privilege for FINCENT. One of the Finnish staff members stated "Assembling staff from NATO and national defence forces offers a great learning experience for all, including the staff".