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Exercises Steadfast Pyramid and Pinnacle Senior Mentors Turnover

Retired General Egon Ramms,  left,  the Exercise Steadfast Pyramid and Pinnacle Senior Mentor,  and retired Admiral Mark Ferguson,  the incumbent Senior Mentor,  speak to participants and staff during an exercise debrief at the Latvian National Defence College on Friday,  Sept. 14,  2018. Steadfast Pyramid and Pinnacle are annual NATO exercises that aim to prepare senior military officers to better support their commanders across the full spectrum of NATO military missions. (NATO photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brett Dodge)

RIGA, Latvia - Retired German Army General Egon Ramms turned over as the Senior Mentor of Exercises Steadfast Pyramid and Pinnacle with retired U.S. Navy Admiral Mark Ferguson during the 2018 iteration of the annual exercise held in Riga, Latvia.

The two officers, with a combined total of over 80-years in service, work with exercise participants during both Pyramid and Pinnacle sharing their experiences working within NATO.

"I have trained as the senior mentor for the exercises since 2011 and have taken on the responsibility to provide advice and guidance based on the experience I have gained during my military tenure," said Ramms, who finished his active duty career as the Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum in 2007. "The exercise has always been very well received procedural-wise and content-wise, but there is another important part in that people get to know each other and may have to cooperate at a later stage in NATO. Its quite helpful for them to network build."

As he steps down from his position as senior mentor of the exercise, Ramms stated that training and engaging with younger officers regarding their development within NATO has helped to keep him motivated to continue his service even after transitioning into the civilian sector.

"The people involved have a commitment to the transatlantic security we enjoy with NATO; they have a commitment to the next generation to pass on things we've learned," said Ferguson who finished his active duty career as Commander, U.S. Forces Europe and Africa while serving concurrently as Commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples in 2016. "Quite frankly, we have a spark to do things, we're not ready to retire and go to a rocking chair on the front porch, and these dynamic activities have been such a part of our life. I look at this as an opportunity to give back, it keeps me involved and current."

The Exercise Steadfast Pyramid participants attended a group dinner and city tour before finishing their training Friday, Sept.14 with a final exercise debrief. Exercise Steadfast Pinnacle participants are expected to arrive during the weekend and conduct training the week of Sept. 16.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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