JFC Brunssum Monitors NATO Evaluation Programme in Finland
Evaluators interviewing Finish Infantry Company Commander.
10 Dec 2015
The Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback Programme (OCC E&F), led by Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), was launched in 1999. Amongst other things it stipulates: "We (NATO Heads of State and Government) intend to provide our Partners with increased opportunities to enhance their contributions to NATO-led operations, and to help modernize their defences in keeping with NATO's own evolving operational roles and capabilities, including through enhancement of the Operational Capabilities Concept”.
At JFC Brunssum, the conduct of this programme is the responsibility of the Military Partnership Branch. The final mission conducted under this umbrella in 2015 was undertaken with the intent to support the Finnish Armed Forces by monitoring what is called a NATO Level 2 Evaluation (NEL2), in this case of an Infantry Company. This activity took place at the Pori Brigade Training Area, Saekylae, from 29 Nov to 04 Dec. It consisted of an In-barracks Inspection on the first day, followed by a Field Inspection over the following 2 days. The exercise was supported by multiple rotary and fixed wing air assets for demonstration of Close Air Support (CAS), certification of Forward Air Controllers (FAC) and training in Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) procedures.
The evaluation was conducted by a Finnish Armed Forces evaluation team (following NATO Allied Command Operations Forces Standards) supported by officers from the partner countries, Austria and Serbia. The NATO Monitoring Team from JFC Brunssum was on-hand to provide support and advice to the evaluation team as required, and represent SHAPE in ensuring that the evaluation was conducted in accordance with agreed NATO procedures.
The outcome of the evaluation was the certification of a Combat Ready Infantry Company. This was particularly noteworthy it was the first conscript unit (4 professional (full-time) soldiers out of a total of 183 personnel) from the Finnish Armed Forces to have completed a NEL2 evaluation.