The 28th ISOC - International Course for Staff Officers was concluded with a solemn ceremony on Thursday, April 6th, 2023 in the premises of International Courses Department (ICD) of the Armed Forces Academy of Gen. M. R. Stefanik (AFA).
On February 6th, 2023, two lieutenants of Czech Army, one lieutenant from Bosnia and Herzegovina and seventeen officers of the Slovak Armed Forces joined the course. All of them successfully completed it. “The best student” award was given to 1stLT Václav Melich from Czech Republic, who set an example to other students with his active work and was a great support for the team.
In nine weeks, the course participants completed the issues of planning and conducting military operations at the tactical level of command in accordance with NATO standards, in the entire spectrum of conflicts in the international environment. They became familiar with the use of units of various specializations and services, as well as with the organizational structures of individual combat units at the tactical level. They have acquired the basic information and skills necessary for the military decision-making process and are ready for joint action in all phases of preparation and planning at the tactical level.
During the practical exercises, they were able to try out roles in different positions and thus find themselves in a position that was not available to them until now, but which may be important in their future career. The participation of an instructor from the National Guard of Indiana (NGI) was of great benefit. With his knowledge and experience, he significantly contributed to the teaching during the two-week introductory exercise of the multinational unit, which was aimed at defending state borders in the event of aggression from a neighboring state.
General Slavomir Vercimak from the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces took part at the closing ceremony of the ISOC 28, spoke to the students and expressed the need for continuous education of officers and non-commissioned officers, as the situation in Europe and Slovakia after Russia's invasion of Ukraine requires a new approach and preparedness. He expressed his belief that ISOC graduates will transfer their acquired knowledge into practice fast and swiftly. He congratulated to all of them and conveyed greetings from the Chief of the General Staff.
The student from Bosnia and Herzegovina thanked the instructors and the entire team of ICD in the name of all ISOC 28 students. He also thanked his colleagues, who were very friendly and helpful the whole time. He did not forget to express thankfulness to those who make such a course possible also for applicants from NTO Partner countries. First Lieutenant Dejan Samardžija participated in the ISOC thanks to the NATO-DEEP - Defense Education Enhancement Program, in which the AFA is actively involved also by providing participation in such courses.
ISOC 28 was closed with a ceremonial speech of the vice-rector for education of the AFA, COL Aurel Sabo, who thanked the entire team of instructors led by LTC Rene Hecko and wished the graduates that not only the knowledge, but also the friendships that the course brought them would be beneficial in their further work.