The NATO Senior Joint Engineers Conference 2013 (NSJEC 13) was held in Izmir, Turkey at the Engineer School and Training Centre Command of Turkish Land Forces on 09/10 Oct 2013. Chaired by the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, Command and Control, Deployment and Sustainability from Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation, it was attended by a representative from NATO HQ International Staff (IS) and Chief Engineers (or their representatives), from 19 NATO Nations and 3 Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations. Also participating were Chief Engineers from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Joint Force Commands Brunssum and Naples as well as Land Command Izmir and the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps Italy and Spain.
By Lieutenant Colonel (GBR) (A) Kevin Borthwick,
Military Engineering Centre of Excellence, Deputy Director / Chief of Staff
The aim of this annual Conference is to enhance the overall Military Engineering (MILENG) posture within the NATO Alliance. The experience of senior NATO and national engineers is available to direct the development of all aspects of MILENG capability, particularly as this applies to higher level defence planning, concepts, doctrine and standardisation. The output guides the programme of work for both the Military Committee (MC) Land Standardisation Board (LSB) MILENG Working Group (WG) and MILENG Centre of Excellence (COE) as well as making recommendations to the North Atlantic Council (NAC), MC, NATO Commands and Nations.
NSJEC 13 focused on the Vision and Objectives (V&O) for MILENG which extends out to 2023. The MILENG COE presented the reviewed MILENG V&O for NSJEC approval and gave an update on the progress of tasks identified as priorities at the NSJEC in 2012. NSJEC approved the MILENG V&O and provided direction and guidance for further development, as well the priority tasks to be worked in 2014.
Priority tasks included:
· The continued engagement in Smart Defence, coupled with optimising the MILENG contribution to the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) – NSJEC invited the MCLSB MILENG WG to look at MILENG capability gaps identified in the NDPP and identify where these gaps related to/could be filled by MILENG Smart Defence initiatives.
· The delivery of MILENG training within NATO was also afforded a high priority for 2014 – NSJEC agreed that the ratification of the MILENG Strategic Training Plan and its implementation, including clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the Training Requirements Authority and MILENG Department Head was of significant importance to ensuring training for MILENG within NATO was effective and to ensure the efficient use of scarce training resources.
· Identified as a short-coming by the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps’ Engineer Civil Military Interaction (ECMI) Branch, a new task was inserted into the MILENG V&O - the establishment of a detailed “NRF MILENG Evaluation Criteria”. SHAPE JENG agreed to lead this task with support from the MCLSB MILENG WG and MILENG COE.
The MCLSB MILENG WG Infrastructure Panel Chairman briefed NSJEC about the draft MC Policy for Power Generation for Deployed Force Infrastructure, which was written in response to a request from the Logistics Committee. This policy was produced by the MCLSB MILENG WG, coordinated and driven by the MILENG COE. This policy takes into account the different national and multinational stakeholders and their initiatives, the variability of camps due to location and mission specific operational requirements, and current and expected technical solutions. It has been developed in close cooperation with SHAPE, the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Sustainable Military Compounds Advance Research Workshop, the SPS Smart Energy Team Project and the Energy Security (ENSEC) COE. NSJEC endorsed the policy for further consideration by the Logistics Committee. See article - Military Engineering Support to Deployed Force Infrastructure.
The MILENG COE provided an overview of the MILENG contribution to the on-going work to develop the Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) (a strategy document designed to assist with preparations for the future military capabilities of the Alliance). This work builds on the foundations provided by NATO’s Strategic Foresight Analysis 2013 report which was published in Sep 13. Both NSJEC and the MCLSB MILENG WG agreed to engage and support the development of this document.