TEPSO Conference on PSO pre-deployment training

The International Military Operations Training Centre hosted a NATO TEPSO Training and Education for Peace Support Operations group Conference held in the Hotel “Dubrovnik“ In Zagreb from 6-8 March

The International Military Operations Training Centre hosted a NATO TEPSO Training and Education for Peace Support Operations group Conference held in the Hotel “Dubrovnik“ In Zagreb from 6-8 March . TEPSO gathers heads or commanders of NATO and PfP international peace training centres; it aims to standardise the pre-deployment training, enhance interoperability of trained units and training centres and to promote training-related co-operation. First stablished in 1970, the Group was since 1999 integrated into NATO International Military Staff and following the Prague Summit of 2002, the NTG was subordinated to the Allied Command Transformation respectively. The Conference was attended by 22 representatives of internatoonal peace operations training centres, of the Joint Force Command (JFC, Brunssum) and the U.S. Army Peace Operations, who discussed several topics of TEPSO’s interest, and the update of modules of the manual used in the pre-deployment training (investigation, pre-trial confinement, comprehension, support to humanitarian assistance activities, information on the area of operations, ethical considerations and code of conduct, preparation of military or security forces, gender perspective in PSO, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, arms assignment and control, equipment and infrastructure. The Croatian Armed Forces were a host on one earlier occasion too (held in Podstrana near Split from 29 September to 3 October 2008). The participants were welcomed by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov, who presented the growth of the Croatian Army and outlined its future development, with the emphasis on the current and new security threats. “After the National Security Strategy, the Croatian Parliament also passed the Act on the Homeland Security System, whose purpose is to enhance the co-ordination of all available government mechanisms and bodies. Homeland security encompasses the intelligence system, diplomacy, the Armed Forces, public administration, economy, national identity and the public and they need to be closer co-ordinated. THe Chief of the General Staff recalled the many missions, operations and activities in which participated members of the Croatian Armed Forces too, as well as their support to the civilian institutions, particularly in the 2017 firefighter season. “Our Canadairs were out fighting the fires every day last August the our Canadair aicraft flew missions. The Croatian Armed Forces have an essential role , in view of their unique capacilties to put at the service of the civilians and civilian institutions Our soldiers are engaged fighting the floods in spring and the effects of snowfall in winter, particularly in mountainous areas, to assist the locals. The Croatian Armed Forces have an additional all year round engagement with the urgent medical flights, transporting the organs for transplants, funerals of the Homeland War veterans, delivery of water and rescue actions“, said General Šundov. The Conference participants were familiarised with the future modernisation projects for the Croatian Armed Forces, such as the provision of new combat aircraft, equipment of the Patria armoured personnel vehicles, full operational service of the PzH 2000 Howitzers, of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, the MRAP vehicles and semi-automatic guns, the overhaul of the Mi-171Sh transport helicopters, development and modernisation of the military intelligence system and construction of inshore patrol vessels. The Chief of General Staff also outlined the plans for the transition of the Croatian military: “I suggest a two-phase transition of the Croatian Armed Forces: the first – the phase of organisation and structure adaptation, to last to 2025, and the second one – the transformation – to exend into 2035. The underlying idea is to build a flexible military, capable of responding to any threat, challenges and demands“.