A discovery experiment workshop ‘to Inform Implementation of CBRN Defence Comprehensive Civil-Military Capabilities’ was virtually hosted by the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Centre of Excellence (JCBRND COE) on 15 September 2020.
Since 2009 strategic level policy has emphasized NATO’s comprehensive approach for preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and defending against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. The aim of the discovery experiment is to inform the implementation of CBRN comprehensive civil-military capabilities by providing the prerequisites for further concept development, propose improvement of existing ones, and support mutual awareness of existing military and non-military capabilities. The experiment includes several workshops with invited military and non-military stakeholders.
The first step of the workshop was for the military stakeholders discussing existing capabilities and gaps using DOTMLPFI (doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel, facility, interoperability) analysis. Even though at the start of the workshop participants from different organisations did not agree on every topic, at the conclusion of the workshop, the representatives achieved consensus and a common understanding of several proposals to eliminate the identified gaps.
During the workshop one of the topics was the military response timeline in case of a CBRN event, and possible ways to shorten the response time. Participants became aware of the JCBRND COE managed CBRN Reachback supported by the Subject Matter Experts of the COE and by the secondary and virtual network with a number of military and civilian organisations. The participants agreed that this CBRN Reachback capability could, with the appropriate approval, serve in an advisory role for short notice requirements. Another important topic was the analysis of the doctrinal publications and interoperability, which identified contradictions in several NATO doctrine publications. These contradictions included Civil-Military Interaction (CMI) implementation and responsibilities, which will require synchronization and revision of the publications to provide a more comprehensive approach. Civil-Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence organized CMI courses to help with understanding the expected activity at organisations, and this was identified as one method to improve the common understand and develop a comprehensive approach.
Lieutenant Colonel Stephan SCHNEIDER, representative of HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, as the task requestor; Lieutenant Colonel Marco VAANHOLD and Captain Sebastian EBERT, representatives of the Civil Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence; Lieutenant Colonel Przemyslav ROMELCZYK and Major Olga POPRÁDI-FAZEKAS, representatives of the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine; and 1st Lieutenant Alexander SCHABLER, representative of Multinational Medical Coordination Centre / European Medical Command participated in the workshop.
The JCBRND COE was represented by Colonel (ret.) Jirí Gajdos; Lieutenant Colonel Attila CSÓKA, who also served as the chairperson of the workshop; Lieutenant Colonel Bernd ALLERT; Lieutenant Colonel Rudolf Konar; Lieutenant Colonel Cosmin MIHAESCU; and Major František GRMELA.
The next event is planned for the first quarter of 2021 with participation of civilian and military stakeholders since civil-military interaction cannot be analysed with only a military point of view.
Author: Lieutenant Colonel Attila CSÓKA (HUN-A)