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News Overview



LTC Oswald explains the Olympic Stadium.

Visit from USA Space Branch

By LTC Josef Oswald, DEU-A, Deputy Department Director SET, 15 Jun 22

LTC USA-AF Ritter, a former Course Director at the NSO, took some of the young cadets of the USA Space Branch (AFROTC Detachment 305) to visit Europe and, amongst others, planned a stop in Oberammergau. The visit served two purposes: to show the cadets that there are professional opportunities outside the US and to engage in networking and cooperation between allies quite early.

Monday morning started with a Bavarian breakfast with the motto "US Cadets meet Weisswurscht" or better said "Never put ketchup on a Weisswurscht"!

After that, the group, guided by LTC Oswald and accompanied by Mr. Josef Beranek – lending his skills as a photographer - departed to Mittenwald. The Commander of the Mountain Infantery School, LTC Gerrit Reichinger, welcomed the cadets and organised a unique day. After an introduction briefing, executed by his deputy LTC Martin Spenzberger, the visitors moved to Grainau, took the Cogwheel train up to the top of the Zugspitze and were given the opportunity to watch a special survival training for crashed helicopter teams in difficult areas. Parts of the training included Igloo construction or roping in dangerous areas with bad weather conditions. The motivation, dedication, the knowledge and the capabilities of the instructors were impressive!

In the late afternoon the cadets returned to PARTENKIRCHEN where LTC Oswald showed them around the former Olympic Stadium (1936 Winter-Games), where the 4 Hills Tournament takes place every year. This was followed by a guided tour through Partenkirchen old-town-district, executed by Mr. Beranek. Supported by the NRC Team, they finished the day with a BBQ.

On their second day the cadets got to experience Bavarian "Wiener and Debreziner", a guided tour through NSO and a briefing on NSO's tasks and capabilities given by USA-N CDR Jeff Frost. In the afternoon the cadets had the opportunity to experience the German shooting range simulator in the Werdenfels barracks in Murnau. The cadets along with LTC Ritter were grateful for the experiences.

For an impression from the top of the Zugspitze on 30 May 22, please refer to the → video posted on our LinkedIn Site

The organization leaders signed the letter of intent

The organization leaders signed the letter of intent

Cooperation between the NSO and the SFA Strengthens the Alliance

By Col Carlo Cavalli, ITA-A, Special Advisor to the Commandant, 30 May 22

The Commandant of the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO), Col. Michael A. Davis together with the Director of the NATO Security Force Assistance (SFA) Centre of Excellence (COE), Col. Massimo Di Pietro, signed a Letter of Intent aimed at establishing a general framework within which both NATO SFA and the NSO agreed to develop cooperation mechanisms and expert exchanges.

The two organizations’ leaders shared the belief that their mutually beneficial relationship will greatly enhance Alliance educational activities ensuring tomorrow’s NATO leaders are more agile and prepared to face future challenges.

Mr Pasquale Caputo with the Dean of Academics

Mr Pasquale Caputo with the Dean of Academics

The NSO Offers Support in Many Ways

By LTC Christian Wilhelm, DEU-A, Department Director HIED, 18 May 22

"Following my father’s footprints" was the project title selected by Mr Pasquale Caputo (73), when planning to walk 1.700 km from Memmingen (Germany) to his home town Barletta (Italy).

On the road that his father, an Italian Prisoner of War in Stammlager VII B, had taken, the avid marathon runner headed for Oberammergau on 14 May 22 only to find out that this would be the day of the Opening Ceremony of the Passion Play 2022 and that accommodation in town was unavailable.

However reverting to the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO), he was provided with private lodging and Italian-speaking company. And thanks to the support from Mayor Andreas Rödl, he was even able to attend the Play and meet the NSO’s Dean of Academics, Colonel Ryan Craycraft, US Air Force, whose nation had liberated his father on 08 May 1945.

Mr Caputo, who dedicated his peace march to all Italian POWs, was deeply moved when he set out towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen the next morning to continue his 68-day-long journey.

seminar participants

seminar participants

The NSO hosts the USA/DEU Reserve Seminar

By the Public Affairs Office, 20 Apr 22

The USA Reserve Officer Association and the DEU Reserve Military Association conducted this year’s annual seminar at the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO).

The two associations developed and undertook a very interesting programme including lectures on current topics related to security politics and to the German as well as the US perspectives.

The participants also found time to explore Oberammergau and some of the local attractions. Last, but not least, they were introduced to the NSO, its mission and structure, as well as having a guided tour through the School.

We hope to welcome them again in the near future.

INTEL videos

SCAPT Hupp and LTC Carbone

Continuous Improvement is critical to the Alliance

By LCDR Henning Hauser, DEU-N, Course Director HIED Department, 08 Apr 22

The ever-changing security environment demands relevant, adapted and qualified training solutions for the Alliance. As part of this effort, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) constantly reviews its training solutions in order to provide tangible operational output.

The NSO’s INTEL department has adapted the training needs of the Alliance with respect to the Open Source Intelligence Course and to the NATO Security Course which trains alliance personnel in NATO security measures and procedures. Department staff members, LTC Carbone (USA-A) and SCPT Hupp (DEU-AF), have prepared two short videos to explain the respective course content. Click on the image to see the videos.

If you wish to know more about the training solutions the NSO offers then please follow this link to the → course catalogue

All shots on target

All shots on target

Multinationalism at the Shooting Range

By LCDR Henning Hauser, DEU-N, Course Director HIED Department, 30 Mar 22

Last week American staff members of the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) offered the possibility to qualify with US weapons on an indoor shooting range in Böblingen, Germany.

A detachment of the US European Command facilitated the participants and did an outstanding job in instructing and guiding the participants from the US, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy on the use of the American M4 rifle and M9 pistol.

All participants were able to qualify at the "marksman" level or above and look forward to another opportunity later in 2022.


LTC De Dios was awarded

LTC De Dios was awarded

NSO Legal Advisor Course was a Success on Many Levels

By the Public Affairs Office, 24 Mar 22

On 17 Mar 22, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) welcomed distinguished presenters Mr. John Swords (Chief Legal Advisor to the NATO Secretary General), Mr. Andres Munoz Mosquera (Director of ACO/SHAPE Office of Legal Affairs), and Ms. Sujin Chan-Allen (Legal Advisor to the NCIA) to the NATO Legal Advisor Course.

The 50 resident students were afforded the opportunity to interact with NATO’s top legal advisors for an unparalleled view of NATO’s current legal operations and issues. In addition, Mr. Mosquera was honored to award the Serge Lazareff Prize to the NSO’s Legal Advisor Lieutenant Colonel Carlos De Dios (USA-AF) for his outstanding contribution to NATO’s legal training, education and operations.

If you wish to learn more about legal courses at the NSO, please visit our → course catalogue

Mr Kühn with the Deputy Commandant and the Mayor of Oberammergau

Mr Kühn with the Deputy Commandant and the Mayor of Oberammergau (from right to left)

NSO Engagement with Bavarian State Parliamentarian

By the Public Affairs Office, 17 Mar 22

This week, Mr Harald Kühn, the member of the Bavarian State Parliament (Bayerischer Landtag, visited the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO).

During an office call with the Deputy Commandant, Colonel Jac-Peter Tölkes (DEU-A), Mr. Kühn was informed of the current situation at the NSO and specifically the School’s response to COVID measures and changes required to academic operations and output. Furthermore, he was interested in how NSO staff members and families live in and around Oberammergau, how they are integrated into the local community and to what extent political support is needed.

Mr Kühn offered his continued support to the School and the opportunity for NSO staff to visit the Bavarian State Parliament.

Ms Anstrell and Col Davis

Ms Anstrell visited the NSO

The NSO Welcomes Swedish Parliamentarian

By the Public Affairs Office, 15 Mar 22

The NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) welcomed Ms Alexandra Anstrell, a member of the Swedish Parliament (Sveriges Riksdag). Ms Anstrell is the spokesperson responsible for Naval, International and Civil Defence issues and has a wide portfolio including the Defence Committee, the Committee of EU Affairs, and and as a Boardmember of the Swedish Coast Guard.

Ms Anstrell was interested to understand the centrality of the NSO within NATO’s Education and Individual Training landscape. Ms Anstrell and the NSO Commandant shared a fruitful discussion about Swedish Defence issues, military education and training, as well as contemporary world issues.

We are looking forward to continued and increased cooperation with Sweden and thank Ms Anstrell for her interest in the NSO.

Passion Play actors from the NSO

Passion Play actors from the NSO

Passion Play Season is Coming Closer - Beards are Getting Longer

By the Public Affairs Office, 03 Mar 22

In 1633 the Oberammergau villagers promised to perform the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every tenth year, in so far as no one was to die of the plague anymore. The villagers were answered by God and therefore in 1634 the first Passion Play took place. The promise has been kept until today.

Due to this all participants in the 2022 Passion Play are be required to observe the "Hair and Beard Decree". On Ash Wednesday - exactly one year ago a bulletin posted by the Passion Play director and the community advises the participants to "let their hair grow out, and the males to also grow a beard". The only exception being the actors cast in the roles of Romans: they get to wear their hair short and to shave regularly.

We look forward to see 5 of our staff member participating in this year’s Passion Play starting in May.

NSO Classroom


The NSO Trained More Than 400 Students This Week

By the Public Affairs Office, 25 Mar 22

7 courses with 260 students in resident plus 160 students attending an online course - this is the outcome of the current training week here at the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO).

During this week the students had the chance to increase their knowledge in topics such as Joint Targeting, Advanced Force Protection and Logistics Operations. All these courses provide Education & Individual Training to a professional standard in support of the Alliance.

If you want to join a course at the NSO, please have a look at our → course catalogue.

Mosque and Islamic Centre in Penzberg

Mosque and Islamic Centre in Penzberg

Increasing Cultural Awareness at the NSO

By the Public Affairs Office, 17 Feb 22

This week, the DEU Element of the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) visited the nearby mosque and Islamic Centre in Penzberg as part of a political educational trip.

During the visit, the NSO staff members learned more about Islamic culture and religion which, with thanks to the Islamic community, helped to increase mutual understanding.

We thank them for the interesting conversation over a mocha and typical Turkish pastries and we are look forward to returning the favour and to welcome the members of the Mosque to the NSO.

Comm&IA Course

NATO Communications & Information Activities Planner’s Course

New Course Opportunities in the StratCom Curriculum

By LTC Christian Wilhelm, DEU-A, Department Director HIED, 10 Feb 22

The NATO Communications & Information Activities Planner’s Course is the latest addition to the Strategic Communications curriculum at the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO).

As the Information Environment becomes the engagement space of the future, delivering cognitive effects in support of the NATO aims and objectives is becoming ever more important. That’s why experts like Lt Col Andrew (GBR-A) teach Info Ops, PsyOps and Military Public Affairs students from across the Alliance in how to integrate communications into the Operational Planning Process (OPP).

To find out more, check section "XX-173 NATO Communications & Information Activities (Comm&IA) Planner Course" on the → Course Announcements page


The SOPC at the NATO School

The NSO is Proud to Host the NATO Senior Officer Policy Course

By the Public Affairs Office, 24 Jan 21

Last week, more than 60 high-ranking military and civilian students, from about 15 countries across the Alliance, attended the NATO Senior Officer Policy Course (SOPC) hosted by the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO).

The aim of this course is to present senior NATO personnel (some new to their posts) with the key factors, concepts and principles of NATO’s current and future security environment while providing insight into the wider strategies and policies of the Alliance.

Among the speakers addressing the course were Ambassadors, permanent representatives to NATO, National and International Military Staff NATO HQ and several Generals; themes included Trans-Atlantic relationships and the ever-changing strategic environment.

If you want to learn more about the course, please click → here

Colonel Carlo Cavalli

Colonel Carlo Cavalli

How to Make the Perfect Homemade Pizza Margherita?

By the Public Affairs Office, 17 Jan 22

Today is the International Day of Italian Cuisine and we asked a genuine Italian how to make the perfect homemade Pizza Margherita. And Colonel Carlo Cavalli agreed to reveal his secret to culinary success. (read more ...)

Unconditional Accreditation

Unconditional Accreditation

A Good Start for the NSO in 2022

By LTC Michael Reinkunz, DEU-A, Special Advisor Quality Assurance, 12 Jan 22

The NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) received the HQ SACT Evaluation Report and the final decision. Due to the result that all NSO core processes fully meet the NATO Quality Standards the institution has been awarded an Unconditional Accreditation for the next six years.

This decision will have positive impact on the NSO customers. The School will continue to offer its portfolio of 113 NATO-approved courses. All students can rest assured that the NSO's mission to conduct education and training in support of current and developing NATO strategy, policy, doctrine and procedures is extant and endorsed.

HQ SACT conducts institutional accreditation in order to provide confidence to the Alliance that recognized Education and Training Facilities, in support of NATO, operate within an effective Quality Management System (QMS). This QMS assesses the organizational structure, the responsibilities, the processes/procedures and the resources of the institution.