Organized by the HDF Peace Support Training Centre, the 6th Peace Support Operations Cooperation Course (PSOCC) has recently ended. The course participants received their certificates on 25 November.
During the two weeks, altogether twelve nations were working together. Besides the 16 foreign students – delegated by Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Egypt, North Macedonia, Croatia, Maldives, Pakistan, Slovakia, and Thailand – seven Hungarian soldiers participated in the course. The work of the Hungarian instructor team was helped by instructors coming from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Croatia and Slovakia.
The objective of the training was to enable the participants, among others, to establish and maintain contact with governmental/non-governmental organizations, to gather information and present them in the form of reports to their superiors and the information analyzers, and to perform conventional liaison officer duties. They learned the basics of the UN Integrated Approach and the NATO Comprehensive Approach to peace operations. They acquired various negotiation and cooperation techniques, learned the rules of providing humanitarian aid, as well as the fundamentals of media awareness and cooperation with various governmental and non-governmental organs and organizations.
On the situational exercises, the students put their acquired academic knowledge into practice. According to the scenario set in a fictitious crisis zone, they visited the local imam and the mayor, the police chief and his deputy, as well as the village leader, and during these visits they were also able to practice how to use the contributions of a language assistant.
At the end of the course, they conducted a two-day closing exercise to prove their preparedness. Besides earlier venues, during this exercise they held negotiations with representatives of international organizations – among others, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees – about repatriation activities involving refugees and municipal elections, to be carried out in the near future.
At the end of the negotiations, they reported to their superiors on the planned tasks. At the closing event, HDF PSTC Commander Colonel Róbert Kiss pointed out in his speech that the character of the missions has changed a lot over the last few years. “Military means are no longer sufficient for handling all dimensions of the crises of our age. The missions have become multi-dimensional and multinational – police, military and civilian actors need to closely cooperate in order to be able to implement the mission mandates. The courses, discussions and exchanges of experiences concerning coordination, cooperation and liaison have gained outstanding importance.”
First Lieutenant Dávid Barkóczy, an officer from the HDF Cyber and Information Operations Centre, left Szolnok enriched with international experiences. “I think that in today’s world burdened with sophisticated security challenges – especially given that cyber and information operations always make more complex the global sources of danger and the operational environment of possible future crisis zones – it is extremely important to train international military experts in peace operations who are able to carry out complex tasks in a coordinated way while serving as liaison officers in a multicultural work environment. Being able to learn and work together with so many soldiers coming from countries that are exotic to me was a huge experience indeed.”
For Captain Manar Adel Fathy Mohammed Ashmawy from Egypt, one of the most important things, about which she learnt a lot during the course, is cooperation with military, police and civil organs as well as with governmental and non-governmental organizations. “These components must closely cooperate so that the given mission can attain its objective. As a soldier, no matter which UN mission I am assigned to, I will be able to use the knowledge I acquired here.”