LTC Ian Clooney, GBR-A, ACOS J5 EA; COL Brian A. Hill, USA-AF; BRIG GEN Bruce Ploughman, CAN-AF, SHAPE ACOS J5; MAJ Annie Bergeron, CAN-AF, NSO Training Development Officer
Brigadier General Ploughman visits NSO
By Lieutenant Colonel Dai Davies
Director Joint Plans and Operations Department
From 13-14 Mar 18, Brigadier General Ploughman, Assistant Chief of Staff, J5 Plans Directorate at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), visited the NSO Joint Plans and Operations Department (JPOD) and discussed SHAPE's vision for the NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Course (COPC), additional NSO course offerings, and the Operations Planning Discipline with JPOD staff and the NSO Leadership. The General provided insights into educating NATO and partner staff officers and conveyed direction and guidance for future improvements in the art of NATO operations planning, a key component of the NSO’s academic portfolio.
General Ploughman's visit included observing a COPC war gaming cycle, one-to-one interviews with instructors from JPOD, and a round table summative discussion with the Dean of Academics, Colonel Brian A. Hill, USA-AF, as well as members of JPOD. General Ploughman commented: "With SACEUR’s focus on developing and growing NATO’s most capable planners, the NSO provides a conducive environment in which students are able to focus on learning and practicing the operations planning process free from distractions and pre-conceived ideas or existing thinking." JPOD’s Director, LTC Christopher Davies, GBR-M, noted the context of the visit was absolutely on target, stating: "To the future, this visit has increased the NSO’s dialogue with SHAPE and will ensure JPOD's portfolio remains absolutely relevant to NATO and continues to train students fit for purpose within the Joint Force Commands, NATO Force Structure, and beyond."
Operations success is insured by intensive and thorough planning across the full spectrum of NATO collective defence, cooperative security, and crisis management scenarios. In this spirit, operations depend on effective and efficient planning. Who better to share expertise with the NSO, the Alliance's focal point for individual education and training at the operational level, than Brigadier General Ploughman.