NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) supporting the Danish Defence Command
By Per "SNE" Jensen, LtCol, DNK-AF, Course Director COPC and SNR
Comprehensive Operations Planning Course
In March 2023 the NSO sent a Mobile Education Training Team (METT), consisting of three Instructors to Air Base Karup (DNK), to conduct a 2-week "Comprehensive Operations Planning Course" (COPC) for the Danish Defence Command. Based on the DNK CHOD’s previously issued training requirements, for all Danish Defence Joint Planners to be knowledgeable in NATO Planning, this was the second year the Danish Defence Command requested and received a COPC METT from the NSO.
The Course was attended by 30 Students and supported by 15 Instructors, including a retired Lieutenant General as Senior Mentor. The students, with ranks ranging from Captain to Lieutenant-Colonel, were selected from all parts of the Danish Defence Joint Planner communities in the Joint Staff East and West and from Arctic Command.
During the 2 weeks the students experienced extended days and evenings, to understand the Out of area scenario and to learn the majority of processes of the NATO Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD). During the first week, they drafted Military Response options and conducted Factor, as well as, Centre of Gravity analyses. The week culminated in the design of an Operational Framework and the presentation of a Mission Analysis Briefing to the Senior Mentor, playing the role of the Joint Task Force Commander (JTF COM).
In the second week, the students drafted various Courses of Action (COAs) and then conducted wargaming to compare and analyse COA outcomes. Their two weeks’ worth of work culminated in presenting the COA Decision Brief to the JTF COM. Surreptitiously, The Danish Chief of Staff from the Joint Operations Staff kindly offered to assume the role as JTF COM where he allocated a substantial amount of time with the NSO Instructor team in order to gain a detailed understanding of the students’ COA plan before receiving the briefing.
To the surprise of many, the COS presented the students (many of whom work in his staff) with very detailed questions and comments both on positive outcomes of the developed plan and areas that had room for further refinement.
During the two weeks the course received visits from the 2- star Joint Staff Commander and from the 2-star Joint Arctic Commander indicating Key Leadership’s engagement and the priority they placed on this training.
The course was extremely well supported by the Danish Admin staff, and well received among the students based on the course feedback.
The success of the course, which now has a wide visibility and awareness with senior DNK Forces leadership, offers scope to enhance and expand the delivery of the COPC to other Nordic (or Scandinavian) NATO Countries and Partners for future reference. The NSO prioritizes METTs to the NATO Command and Force Structure and Allied national units based on exercise timing and resource availability. To learn more about the NSO METT program, navigate to the METT page.