When Advanced Modular Training (AMT) was launched as a pilot course in 2017-2018 at the request of the EU Military Committee, the needs analysis revealed that civil-military common training was required in order to provide senior officers and their civilian equivalents with the right skills and knowledge to perform their duties in the Common Security and Defence (CSDP) area.
Whilst the first course was very well received, the need for modularity had not been clearly identified, so AMT was redesigned. The second version was reorganised into two modules, both of which needed to be attended (AMT Module 1 – Integrated Approach and AMT Module 2 – CSDP Operations Planning, with a choice of two specialisations: AMT2a – political-strategic level – and AMT2b – military-strategic level). Both times, participants must first have attended the CSDP Orientation Course. The second pilot AMT was co-organised by the EUMS and the ESDC with the help of voluntary Member States – Ireland, Greece, Italy and Sweden – and was run twice: first in March-April and then in May-July.
The last module was concluded successfully on 12 July in Rome, after having been organised, prepared and conducted in excellent conditions by the Italian Centre for Higher Defence Studies (CASD) in cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre (SWEDINT). Participants had ample opportunities to learn through interactive methodologies, drawing from a broad range of expertise from the EEAS CSDP – Crisis Response, Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability, EU Military Staff, Military Planning and Conduct Capability and NATO. The cooperation with NATO is critical, since EU planning methodology acknowledges the value of NATO’s Comprehensive Operations Planning Process in training the common pool of forces available to the MS in both frameworks.
The course developed key competences by elaborating on the Integrated Approach to conflict and crisis (in module 1) and practicing key steps in the CSDP planning process (in module 2). Conflict Analysis and Operations Planning are two examples of such competences. However, AMT is more than hands-on training on the procedural and technical sequence of planning activities with detailed outputs. The course uses these two processes as platforms from which to approach key issues of CSDP engagement and specificities. Bridging civilian and military understanding of domains and areas of common interest where the EU might deploy its CSDP capabilities in support of its partners is by far the most difficult task faced by the training providers involved in AMT.
Overall, 72 civilian and military participants were trained in six modules co-organised by the Hellenic Supreme Joint War College, the Italian Centre for Higher Defence Studies, the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre, Maynooth University (Ireland) and the EUMS, under the aegis of the ESDC.
Pending the formal decision of the ESDC Steering Committee, the first standard version of AMT will be conducted in 2020, following a similar approach.
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