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NATO Special Operations Forces meet in Budapest

Commander of NATO Special Operations Headquarters,  Vice Admiral Colin J. Kilrain,  speaks to attendees at the Commanders Conference in Budapest,  Hungary. - Photo by NSHQ
BUDAPEST- Hungarian Special Operations Command recently hosted NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) and the NATO SOF Community for their biannual NATO Allied and Partner SOF Commanders Conference in Budapest, Hungary.
 
The two day event brought together Special Operations Forces (SOF) Commanders, Senior Enlisted Advisors, and Interagency Senior Staff with the theme "Interagency Cooperation through the Lens of Counter Terrorism."

Vice Admiral Colin J. Kilrain, Commander, NSHQ, kicked off the conference by challenging his fellow Commanders with the following: "Can NATO SOF perhaps do more on the CT front? How do we work better across the interagency to counter terrorism?" Vice Admiral Kilrain also shared a need to look beyond a counter terrorism lens and consider issues such as Hybrid, Cyber and Irregular Warfare all of which demand interagency collaboration and coordination.

The requirement for an increased interagency approach came out of the previous conference, where the Commanders stressed that while SOF plays a role in countering the threats, the community relies on interagency partners at every step of the process, from the tactical to the strategic.

Vice Admiral Kilrain pointed out that, "SOF cannot do it (counter terrorism) alone, no one agency can do it alone, and no one nation can do this alone, but SOF can be the galvanising force and set an example for collaboration as a fundamental operating principle. The interagency approach is not just a label; it is a necessity."

In addition to the briefings and panels, the Commanders had opportunities to provide feedback to NSHQ and to challenge NSHQ to look beyond the present to the future. Several Commander's expressed their appreciation for NSHQ and the role the Headquarters plays not just in "Building NATO SOF,” but also in their role of linking decision makers and operators together to improve Alliance and Partner SOF capability holistically. The opportunity to receive feedback from the Commanders is of great value to NSHQ particularly as they go through a period of transformation in line with the rest of the Alliance due to Adaptation.
 
Story by NATO Special Operations Headquarters


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