The military, police and civilian experts all at one table – a recipe for success?

Pictures: ZIF


Berlin-Schmöckwitz. A hotel in the outskirts of Berlin, a bus that leaves every hour, and a train station that takes more than half an hour to reach. Nobody would find its way to this place, unless looking for some peace, nature and rest, or a location to host negotiations with terrorists. At least, this is how it must have looked like for those guests that “stumbled” into ZIF’s training module.

It was here that the Comprehensive Generic Training Peace Operations (CGTPO) took place in late May, organized by ZIF in cooperation with the police of North-Rhine-Westphalia (LAFP Brühl). Civilian experts were in instructed in different interactive modules, including conflict analysis, negotiation practices and project management, to be prepared for future field work. The aim of the course is not only restricted to the exchange of knowledge, expertise and experience on an equal level, it also strives to positively impact and change the participants’ attitude.

A success of particular importance: Participants emphasized how much they had profited from the diversity brought by police, military and civilian experts. It was especially welcomed that different languages and working cultures could be shared. In addition, participants discovered many common features in their respective work and the presence of national personnel from the field provided for some mission reality and new insights. This is exactly the focus of the “comprehensive approach” taken in the trainings, which is aimed at fostering cooperation and coordination between the different actors in peace operations.

We congratulate all participants on “passing” the course and the Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT). The HEAT course prepares civilian experts in coping with stress in fragile security environments and crises, risk prevention, first aid in the field and how to encounter complex and dangerous situations. Participants are also taught off-road driving, an important skill for field missions.

We hope to be able to second – which is send out – many of this course’ participants to missions soon.