During the visit CSM Saliste spoke virtually with senior enlisted leaders throughout Allied and partner SOF communities during the Summit International course, designed to prepare senior non-commissioned officers to take further leadership roles in their respective national militaries and NATO commands. CSM Saliste briefed students on the dynamics of ACO as well as the importance of their roles as leaders of the NCO and junior officer communities and their responsibilities to their respective commanders.
In the current climate, with the pandemic, we have to tailor our trainings to ensure the safety of our people; this is no easy task but the leadership at NATO's Special Operations School are making strides to ensure that our troops within the SOF community are getting the same high quality, high-speed training to provide them the tools they need to continue to train and enable their own troops
"It's a pleasure to come out here to the school to meet and engage with this critically important specialized group of leaders," said CSM Saliste. "In the current climate, with the pandemic, we have to tailor our trainings to ensure the safety of our people; this is no easy task but the leadership at NATO's Special Operations School are making strides to ensure that our troops within the SOF community are getting the same high quality, high-speed training to provide them the tools they need to continue to train and enable their own troops."
Allied Command Operations Command Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste briefs students via teleconference during a visit to NATO's Special Operations School located on Chievres Air Base, Belgium on September 4, 2020.
Thirteen students from 13 different Allied and partner nations attended the more than 8-week course. Beginning in 2018, the Summit International course has been the pinnacle of a series of training courses each Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) is required to attend. The series begin with the Initial Special Operations Forces Integration Course, then the Intermediate International Mid-Level Leadership Course, next the Joint Special Operations Force Senior Enlisted Academy – hosted exclusively in the US, ending with the Summit course.
"This is our first time offering this course one hundred percent remotely," said Greek Command Sergeant Major V. Trasanis, the course facilitator. "The course has gone amazingly well and, although we are working together remotely, we are providing exactly the same training and meeting our targeted goals using this dynamic format of learning. The one element missing from in person training is the networking component, where students have the opportunity to meet face-to-face, build more interpersonal connections and learn from each other's experiences and cultures."
NSOS's mission is to improve interoperability, capability and effectiveness of Allied and Partner SOF through precise yet flexible training and education, tailored to meet the dynamic requirements of NATO's elite special operations professionals.
NSOS is led by NATO Special Operations Headquarter (NSHQ). NSHQ provides strategic SOF advice, synchronizes NATO special operations activities and enables related SOF capability development in order to deter potential peer state and terrorist threats and defend the Alliance.
Their primary missions are to support NATO Operations and Response Forces, implement the SOF 3C Concept of competition, crisis and conflict, enable NSHQ Operations Coordination Centre to increase situational awareness of national SOF activities across NSHQ and nations, expand partnership activities and align education, training and professional development to priorities.