A first quarter full of activities for IFESO.

The year 2023 is starting quickly for IFESO with several training activities at the Collège de défense du G5 Sahel and at the Ecole de guerre in Paris.

These courses are intended for officers as students in their respective war college. This involves learning the operational level planning method, the synchronization of operations level command posts, and Battle Staff Training.

IFESO trainers rely on French references (Joint Publication PIA-5(B) of June 26, 2014, derived from the NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive version 2013) and NATO directive (COPD version 2021).

The COPD (PIA) has several principles which may present some interests.

A multi-level method:

COPD addresses the strategic and operational levels, thus enabling a common approach to planning. Because the process involves strong interactions with the tactical level, COPD must also be understood by all levels to strengthen collaborative activities.

Command and staff relationship:

Relations between the Commander and the staff are fundamental. The conception, planning and execution of an operation are human activities where the Commander expresses his directives and the staff supports his decision-making process. During the planning period, the COPD insists on the directives of the Commander to the Joint Operations Planning Group at the onset and ending of each phase. The commander gives his vision. The staff facilitates his decision-making. This is why in the COPD spirit, the commander writes his intent and gives his directives for the development of courses of action, while ensuring the development of permanent and valuable interactions with the strategic and tactical levels. This is the difference between Command Lead and Staff Lead.

A collaborative method:

According to the NATO planning process, the strategic level keeps the political level informed and establishes the conditions for the operational level to achieve the objectives. The formal products of the strategic level (SACEUR) are drafted according to the directives of the political level (North Atlantic Council) and with the participation of the operational level. The same applies to the tactical level, which strongly contributes to the development of the joint plan. Each level is organized to facilitate this collaborative planning.

Experienced trainers:

IFESO trainers have the expertise to navigate through the 500 pages of the method. They allow the trainees to provide the elements necessary to make a plan. This plan must be simple and clear to enable the achievement of the commander’s intent. The level of professionalism of IFESO has just been recognized by NATO. The Comprehensive Operations Planning Course is now selected (NATO SELECTED).

IFESO helps the armed forces to develop their capabilities for planning and conducting operations at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.