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News Overview



Dr. Andrew A. Michta (GCMC Dean), Col Dreifke, LTG Dayton, Col Schreckinger, Col Hill, Lt Col Grossmann

New Year's Reception Garmisch-Partenkirchen

By Colonel Hill
Dean of Academics

On 24 Jan 18, Colonel Timothy Dreifke, the Commandant of the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) , and NSO key leaders promoted the strong partnership with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) at a New Year's Reception held at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Ga-Pa) Kongresshaus. Hosted jointly by the Municipality of Ga-Pa and the GCMC, this year's event brought more than 450 civilian and military leaders from across Bavaria to celebrate the start of a new Academic Year. The evening began with a performance by the Gebirgsmusikkorps Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Lord Mayor of the Municipality of Ga-Pa, Dr. Sigrid Meierhofer, reflected on the area's success in 2017 including its close ties to the GCMC and the NSO. She reflected on both ongoing civil infrastructure projects and future plans to support Ga-Pa's growing population. The GCMC Director, U.S. Army Lieutenant General (Ret) Keith W. Dayton, took the opportunity to thank the community of Ga-Pa and Bavaria for 25 years of support which enables the GCMC to "create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships; promoting active, peaceful, whole-of-government approaches to address transnational and regional security challenges; and creating and enhancing enduring partnerships worldwide".

As NATO's premier Education and Training institution at the operational level, the NSO partners with the GCMC in strengthening interoperability and stability for NATO Allies and a host of key partners with the goal of promoting dialogue and understanding among the global community of nations.

Tunisian War College

Colonel Handle and Colonel Mattina

NSO Representatives lecture at the Tunisian War College

By Public Affairs Office

On 10 Jan 18, NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) representatives Colonel Enrico Mattina, ITA-A, and Colonel Paul Handle, AUT-A, visited the Tunisian War College to deliver lectures on NATO and Partnership programmes.

The War College is presently hosting its 22nd class with a total of 82 officers, mostly in the rank of OF-4, including eight international students from Germany and seven African nations. The NSO representatives brought an international flavour to the curriculum resulting in genuine interest in the presentations and discussions. The visit was of mutual benefit as they were able to exchange views on current issues and further cooperation with some of the officers in the audience having already attended courses in Oberammergau or received training at their units by NSO’s Mobile Education and Training Teams (METTs). In 2018 Tunisia will send officers to 32 different NSO courses.

Tunisia joined NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue in 1994 and in March 2016 requested a Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP). NSO’s engagement within the DEEP is to support the faculty and curriculum development for the Tunisian Staff and War College.

METT Montenegro


NSO supports Montenegro’s Cyber Defence Training

By Liliana Serban
NSO Course Director and NPS Liaison Officer

Under the auspices of the NATO Science for Peace Programme (SPS) the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) supports Montenegro’s cyber defence objective as defined in its NATO Accession Plan. From Mar - Dec 2017 the NSO, in collaboration with the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), conducted two cyber security courses in Montenegro’s capital Podgorica: the Network Security (M6-108) Course and the Network Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Mitigation (M6-109) Course.

The training audience of 30 students was comprised of professionals from various governmental organizations, whose daily tasks include network management and administration, as well as engineers, technicians, forensic investigators and penetration testers. Each course lasted ten weeks including both resident instruction and self-paced learning. During the first and last week of each course students had to attend lectures in Podgorica with eight weeks of distance learning in between. At the end of the Network Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Mitigation Course (M6-109) 21 students received an industry standard certification in ethical hacking from the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants. This coveted certification significantly improves national expertise and enhances national capacity to respond to cyber incidents and to the defence of national networks.

The students valued the lectures, remote laboratory environment and final projects and exams offered by the two courses. Students stated, they "[…] can use this knowledge and the presented real world examples to improve [their] regular work" and underlined that, "[…] it is nice to know so much about cyber security. […] The courses gave a great opportunity for intensive and broad learning."


Ettal Pupils at NSO


Ettal Pupils educate the NSO Staff

By Public Affairs Office

On 11 Oct 17, 15 pupils currently studying Advanced-level English at the Benedictine High School in Ettal (5 kilometers from Oberammergau) presented the German Country Brief to an audience of over eighty NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) staff and spouses. The Brief addressed a broad spectrum of German culture, history, politics and facts from Beethoven to beer, from the Bundestag to the Bundesliga.

The pupils were not only placed in the unfamiliar surroundings of the NATO School but also had to talk, for over an hour, in a second language and in the presence of their English teacher and headmaster, Hubert Hering. Through their proficiency in English, often combined with humour, the pupils successfully achieved their goal and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to gain valuable experience and to engage in conversation.

NSO staff are planning a return visit to the Ettal High School to instruct and debrief the students and to further links between the NSO and the local community.


Image Source:

OSINT Workshop

By Intelligence Department

From 26 – 28 Sep 17, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) hosted the NATO Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Working Group (OSIWG) workshop for OSINT training development.

In response to the Allied Command Operations (ACO) requirement, this workshop was directed by the OSIWG to develop new curriculum consistent with MC 0647 – Policy on OSINT and doctrine AJP-2.9. Allied Command Transformation (ACT) has selected the NSO to be the primary education and training facility to support the training outcome. This new curriculum will enhance existing instruction by incorporating contemporary practical exercises and by adding e-Learning modules as mandatory pre-requisites.

The participants in this workshop included national representatives from Canada, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, The Netherlands, USA and NATO's Intelligence Fusion Centre (NIFC) complimented by NATO Command Structure representation from the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), ACT and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).



Energy Security Strategic Awareness Course attracts largest number of participants ever

By Mr Michael Rühle, NATO HQ

From 25 - 29 Sep 17, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) facilitated the third Energy Security Strategic Awareness Course. The course was held in cooperation with NATO Headquarters, Allied Command Operations, Allied Command Transformation, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence and the US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).

This year’s iteration of the course featured the largest number of participants so far. 40 students from 23 allied and partner countries attended. According to Colonel Timothy Dreifke, Commandant of the NSO, this vindicates the School’s decision of three years ago to go ahead with this new kind of course. Alan Howard, Deputy Chair of the NPS’s Energy Academic Group, agrees: "The NSO is the perfect venue for such a course. The NSO’s infrastructure and staff help to create the right atmosphere for disseminating a lot of knowledge in a rather short span of time. The participants' feedback shows that they truly appreciate this. Their engagement throughout the course was exemplary."

The course takes place annually in the Autumn and covers various aspects of energy security, ranging from cyberattacks on energy infrastructure to maritime security.

NSO Survey


NSO Survey closed

By Lieutenant Colonel Frank Grossmann, Acting Dean of Academics

The NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) study, conducted by a Canadian professor of Political Science from Ottawa, Ontario Canada, has now been successfully concluded. There is no more need to respond to E-Mails that had been sent out by NSO and the Canadian supplier, asking for participation in this survey. Thanks to all who supported our efforts in improving our students’ learning experience. NSO will post a brief summary of findings in due course, once the final report has been submitted to us.

NSO Survey


NSO Online Questionnaire

By Lieutenant Colonel Frank Grossmann, Acting Dean of Academics

On 06 Jun 17, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) launched a survey aimed at obtaining student feedback from those who have attended NSO courses over the past three years.

Should you or your colleagues receive an E-Mail from NSO's 'QA-Team' account, this is a genuine E-Mail introducing the survey. A follow-up E-Mail from Dr. Conrad Winn, a Canadian Professor of Political Science, will contain the link to the online questionnaire. This follow-up E-mail originates from the Logit Group in cooperation with Cido Research, both Canadian suppliers to Dr. Winn. Should you have any further questions related to the survey, please do not hesitate to contact the POCs listed in the E-mails.

The NSO appreciates you taking a few minutes to help improve our training, making the NSO an even better learning experience for future students. Thank you for your contribution.



Memorandum of Understanding

By Colonel Enrico Mattina, Special Advisor to the Commandant

On 19 May 17, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Professor Roberto Mugavero, President of the Observatory on Security and CBRN Defence (OSDIFE) and USA Air Force Colonel Timothy Dreifke, Commandant of the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO).
This memorandum provides the basis for a future closer cooperation in the field of CBRN Defence between the two Institutions in order to further enhance the successful outreach policy and the high level of professional education and training offered by the NSO.



First JIPOE Workshop at the NSO

By Intelligence Department

From 15 - 19 May 17, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) hosted the first Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (JIPOE) workshop.
This workshop was conducted in order to support the development of the NATO level 3 doctrine document AIntP-17 (Allied Intelligence Publication) "JIPOE". The aim of AIntP-17 is to provide a capability within NATO that will support the commander's decision making process during operational planning and improve interoperability by providing guidance to operators, trainers and practitioners executing the JIPOE process. In addition, AIntP-17 will serve as the basis for more detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) and will be used inside several NSO courses.
The participants in this first workshop included representatives from USA, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Great-Britain, ACT and LANDCOM.


Office Call

Rear Admiral Pietro Luciano Ricca visits NSO

By Colonel Enrico Mattina, Special Advisor to the Commandant

On March 23, Rear Admiral Pietro Luciano Ricca, Head of Personnel Department of the Italian Defence General Staff, visited the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) in the spirit of the long pursued policy of cooperation with this NATO prime educational institution. After an office call with the NSO Commandant, US Navy Captain Scott Butler, and the Dean of Academics, Colonel Timothy Dreifke, he received a presentation on the activities of the School. Later on, he had the occasion to meet with the Italian personnel serving at the NSO, the third largest military community there, and took a tour of the facilities.




PTEC Marketplace 2016

By Public Affairs Office

On 19 Oct 16, the NATO School Oberammergau Dean of Academics, Colonel Dreifke, addressed representatives from 19 Partnership Training and Education Centres (PTEC) at the PTEC Community event known as the "Marketplace" held in NATO Headquarters, Brussels. ( read more on ACT website... ) ( more pictures… )

Second Energy Security Strategic Awareness Course

Attendees "Energy Security Strategic Awareness Course 2016"

Energy Security Strategic Awareness Course

By Michael Rühle, Head Energy Security Section NATO HQ

On 30 September the second Energy Security Strategic Awareness Course concluded at the NATO School in Oberammergau. During the five day course 33 participants from 21 NATO and partner nations discussed crucial energy security issues, including the security implications of global energy developments, threats to Critical Energy Infrastructure, and enhancing energy efficiency in the military. Like the successful pilot course in 2015, the second iteration was a joint project by the NATO School, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius, the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, the two NATO Strategic Commands, and NATO's Emerging Security Challenges Division. Speakers included renowned energy experts from the academic community, various ministries, the military, and the private sector.

The students attended lectures on the geopolitics of energy security, maritime security, cyber defence, the role of the private sector in energy security, military energy efficiency approaches, and other related subjects. They also worked in syndicates and conducted a table-top exercise to develop their own responses to energy-related security challenges.

The course is supposed to become an annual event and corresponds to the Wales and Warsaw Summits' call to enhance training and education efforts in energy security.

Member of Bavarian Parliament visits NATO School

Col Schreckinger with Herrn Kühn

Bavarian Parliamentary visit to the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO)

By Captain Franziska Hesse, Public Affairs Office

On 26 Sep 16, Mr. Harald Kühn, of the Bavarian Parliament, was welcomed to the NSO by the Deputy Commandant, Colonel Joachim Schreckinger. Mr. Kühn visited the exhibition of NSO history and afterwards invited German staff members to join in conversation during which he answered questions regarding local and national politics. He further expressed his appreciation of the military, especially in his constituencies of Weilheim-Schongau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

United Kingdom Metropolitan Police

United Kingdom Metropolitan Police

2016 International Hostage Negotiation Workshop

By Sergeant Jamie Cavazos, Public Affairs Office

In September 2016, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) facilitated the inaugural Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Hostage Negotiation Workshop hosted by the United Kingdom Metropolitan Police. Delegates from the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait attended the two-day workshop with the aim to support ongoing collaborative efforts in countering the threat of, and response to, terrorist-inspired events.

CTC 2016

CTC Group Photo (photo by SGT Jacob Seguin US-A/Released)

Combined Training Conference NATO School Oberammergau (NSO)

By Sergeant Jamie Cavazos, Public Affairs Office

During the period 25-29 July 2016, the NSO hosted the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Combined Training Conference (CTC) attracting approximately 390 US and NATO military planning staff. The aim of the CTC was to synchronize, source and schedule regional, land-based, joint integrated exercises and individual training that support NATO interoperability and develop Allied and partner capabilities and capacities, with a planning horizon of 2017-2019.



NATO NCO Seminar in Ukraine

By Sergeant Major Martin Gut, Non-Commissioned Officers Programmes Department (NCOPD)

In the first quarter of 2016, SGM Janez Smid (SLO) developed a two-week seminar for Ukraine (UKR) NCOs under the auspices of the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP). The DEEP mission is to contribute to international security through the professionalization of the Officer Corps, NCO Corps and civilian defence officials of partner countries to ensure their respective defence education institutions are compatible with western defence education standards and values. SGM Smid organized and led two seminars in the Ukraine from May 23 to June 17 and was ably supported by CWO Yancy Savard (CAN), SGM Miroslav Dulaj (SKV), SGM Robert Plzak (CZE) and CWO Henry Bethlehem (NLD) of the NSO NCOPD. The NSO staff presented lessons and guided discussions on Officer-NCO Relations, NCO Development, Gender and Equal Opportunity, Counselling and Communication and Career Paths. Furthermore, the NSO staff presented the NATO NCO Bi-SC Strategy and Recommended Non-Commissioned Officers Guidelines from Oct 2010, the NCO Professional Military Education Reference Curriculum and the NCO programmes from their respective nations and services. The seminars provided the UKR Leadership, Officers and NCOs with detailed insight in how to develop their NCO Corps and the opportunities that arise from a having well-trained educated and structured NCO Corps.


Creation of the Joint Plans and Operations Department

Creation of the Joint Plans and Operations Department (JPOD)

By Lieutenant Colonel Dai Davies, Joint Plan and Operations Department

The Joint Plans and Operations Department was created in June 2016. It was the product of a merger between the Joint Operations Department and the Joint Plans Department. In reality, this will have little impact on the current course delivery of the two departments, as they merge; things will carry on as it was before. This merger will impact on NSO's daily business in terms of the naming conventions and department function. In essence everything that was related to JOPS and JPD is to be directed to the JPOD.

CSM Petek

Command Sergeant Major Davor Petek

ACO CSEL keynote speech to the NATO NCO Orientation Course

By Command Sergeant Major Miroslav Dulaj, Non-Commissioned Officers Programmes Department (NCOPD)

On 05 May 2016, Command Sergeant Major Davor Petek, the Command Senior Enlisted Leader NATO Allied Command Operations, addressed the NATO NCO Orientation Course, held at the NATO School Oberammergau, followed by an open discussion with 50 students from 17 NATO and partner countries. The NCO Orientation Course teaches students the NATO structures, policies, operations and emerging issues required for NCOs to work effectively within the Alliance. CSM Petek also forwarded greetings and a message on behalf of General Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

AM Stacey

Air Marshal Graham Stacey

Visit of COS ACT to NATO School Oberammergau (NSO)

By Sergeant Jamie Cavazos, Public Affairs Office

On 21 Apr 16, Air Marshal Graham Stacey, the Chief of Staff of NATO Allied Command Transformation, gave the keynote speech to the NATO Operational Law Course held at the NSO. The Air Marshal’s address on The Commander’s Expectations for Legal Support was well received by the multi-national audience and provided ample ammunition for debate and cross examination during the subsequent Question and Answer session. The visit concluded with an office call with the NSO Dean of Academics prior to the Air Marshal’s departure for Virginia.

VADM Foggo

Vice Admiral James Foggo

Visit of COM STRIKFORNATO to the NATO School Oberammergau

By Colonel Zsolt Mikusi

On 14 Apr 16, Vice Admiral James Foggo, Commander US 6th Fleet and Commander Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), paid his first visit to the NATO School. During his visit VADM Foggo addressed the NATO Non-Commissioned Officer Intermediate Leadership Course and visited the Exhibition of the History of the NATO School.