Led by Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), this year’s NATO Senior Mentor Conference took place on 19-20 November at ACT Staff Element Europe (SEE) in Mons, Belgium.
German Army Major General Reinhard Wolski, Commander Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) briefed the participants on the Centre's most recent activities as NATO's premier operational-level trainer, its key deliverables and evolving warfare capabilities in accordance with the SAGE (SACEUR's Annual Guidance on Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluation).
He then highlighted the important role of the Senior Mentors for the JWC, representing the brain trust of NATO. Topics of the conference included the NATO Defence Planning and training processes, education and individual training, future NATO training events and the NATO Response Force.
During the conference, General (Ret.) Sir John Reith handed over his duties as the Lead Senior Mentor for NATO to General (Ret.) Karl-Heinz Lather.
SEE is co-located with the ACO Headquarters SHAPE in Mons, Belgium. It deals primarily with defence and resource planning issues and its implementation. In doing so, it interacts with different NATO entities: The International Military Staff (IMS) and the International Staff (IS) at NATO HQ, ACO, other NATO bodies and agencies, as well as individual Allies.
Overall the main aim of the conference was optimising NATO's training efforts to the benefit of the Alliance, in order to carry out the full range of NATO missions as effectively and efficiently as possible.