The Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Centre of Excellence (JCBRN Defence COE) hosted the COE Program of Work Development Workshop from 12 -14 June 2012 in the Hotel International Brno, Czech Republic. This annual event was organized with close cooperation with the Transformation Network Branch (TNB) SACT HQ, who is the leading body for coordination of all COEs within NATO.  More than 50 representatives from a variety of organizations to include 17 Centers of Excellence, ACT, EUCOM, IMS, JFTC, JWC, SHAPE (OPD), and the US NDU attended the three day conference.

       The purpose of the 2012 COE WS was to discuss and finalize the NATO Requests for Support (RFS) for inclusion in the respective 2013 COE Program of Works (POWs). The workshop offered a venue for the centers and other interested entities to meet with different Communities of Interest (COI), coordinate mutual support, and de-conflict 2013 events. 

       The meeting opened with an icebreaker where COL Storm from TNB and COL Cizek, the Director of the JCBRN Defense COE, formally welcomed all the participants.  COL Storm also presented COL Cizek with a plaque from the TNB recognizing his outstanding leadership of the JCBRN Defense COE over the last four years.

       The first day of the Workshop began with a TNB briefing on the current status of COE's and a briefing for non COE members on the overall structure and functions of COE’s termed COE “101”.  TNB also presented a thorough briefing on Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enhancements and COE Best Practices.  Individual COE’s then discussed their 2013 POW Highlights by providing short introductions stressing specific focus areas and potential areas of collaboration.

       The next day the WS continued with informal coordination sessions designed to synchronize  COE responses to the 2013 NATO Inputs, clarify specific requests for support as well as finalize each COE’s 2013 POW for submission to their Steering Committees in the fall. 

       The JCBRN Defence COE also hosted a cultural event that included a tour of the Cairn of Peace Memorial and museum commemorating the historic battle of Austerlitz in December, 1805.  The tour was followed by a meal served in the Austerlitz Chateau featuring authentic Czech cuisine accompanied by a folk band provided by the Czech military.

      On last day of the workshop the audience was brief by different NATO bodies on numerous topics of interest to include the new NATO Evaluation System, Quick Wins at Low Cost and the NC3A as a C4ISR “COE”. The MILENG COE representative introduced their COE's General project overview and future ideas of the SharePoint and COE Forum. The intent of TNB and COEs is to build the base for cooperation on the designated COE forum that may allow more efficient sharing of best practices and to improve knowledge development throughout the COE community of interest.   

      Col Helmar Storm, Chief of the TNB, closed the workshop by offering thanks to the JCBRN Defence COE for their excellent support and preparation of all details of the event.  All COEs will meet again during COE FAM Meeting this summer and also at the COE Directors Conference to be held in Norfolk, Virginia in October 2012.    

Authors: COL Randy Lee Smith, CPT Ilona Bain

Photos: Mrs. Hana Jurcova, MAJ ALes Mylan


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