Annual European Union Military Staff Conceptual Development and Experimentation Seminar

A conceptual document in the context of the European Union Military Staff is a “notion or a statement of an idea, expressing how something might be done or be accomplished.” In almost all cases there are many possible conceptual solutions to the challenges we are confronted with. In order to best manage the plethora of possible approaches, the exploitation of diversity of thought, experience and perspective is key. In this article, Lt Col  Sebastian Schreiner, Action Officer from the EUMS Concepts branch, discusses the Annual European Union Military Staff Conceptual Development and Experimentation Seminar. This seminar offers a forum for an unconstrained exchange of conceptual thoughts under Chatham House rules. The primary target audience are the European Union Member States' centres and entities for concept development & experimentation. However, delegates from partner organisations, such as NATO or the United Nations, are also invited and attend regularly.

RDC

On 20 September 2022 delegates from European Union Member States and NATO gathered to discuss two key conceptual projects supporting the implementation of the Strategic Compass; the Military Framework for Security and Defence and the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity.

Key note
Professor Dr. Daniel Fiott who is Head of the Defence and Statecraft Programme at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy of the Brussels School of Governance delivers the keynote address

The morning session on the Military Framework for Security and Defence was introduced by Professor Dr. Daniel Fiott who is Head of the Defence and Statecraft Programme at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy of the Brussels School of Governance. He alluded on the military strategic context and the military dimension of the Strategic Compass. With his keynote he provided the framework for the follow-on discussion on the Military Framework for Security and Defence. The intensity of the Question and Answer session was a proof of the value Professor Dr. Fiott added to the seminar.

The keynote was followed by a presentation on the Military Framework for Security and Defence by the EU Military Staff Concepts Branch. The purpose of the conceptual document, the overarching idea were explained and the details of the structure of the concept were unfolded for the participants of the seminar.

red
The Military Framework for Security and Defence is viewed through many perspectives.

In order to make the seminar more interactive and incentivise engagement, a group activity was factored in after these two presentations. The idea was to let the participants unpack and red team the Military Framework for Security and Defence form different angles. The great results that were achieved in only 30 minutes will inform the further drafting of the conceptual document.

In the afternoon the focussed changed on the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity. Dr. Bastian Giegerich, Director of Defence and Military Analysis at the London based International Institute for Strategic Studies, linked the morning session on Military Strategy with great precision to the afternoon session. On the basis of his vast experience in military analysis in the context of the Military Balance, he provided fascinating and detailed insight in how strategies and force planning of global players determine each other. This set the scene perfectly for the follow-on discussion on the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity.

The presentation on the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity was a joint effort from several EUMS branches, which are deeply involved in the conceptual development of the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity. The action officer from the Concepts Branch provided an overview and explained the general aspects. Following this key elements of the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity’s architecture were unpacked by the subject matter experts. The branch Chief of EUMS Foresight Analysis, Assessment and Planning Branch provided detailed insights in the progress made with the Operational Scenarios and Advance Planning. The responsible action officer from EUMS Concepts alluded on the Command and Control related aspects and EUMS Logistics explained the Sustainment details in a very clear presentation. Finally, the plans for live exercises, a key aspect for the interoperability of the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity were briefed by the EUMS Exercises, Training and Analysis Branch.

The conceptual development is very important to get a clear idea on how the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity is meant to function. However, it is only one side of the coin. The other side is the implementation, which is directed to be achieved by 2025. An EUMS action officer from the Operations Directorate , who has a vast experience in force planning from his recent job in the Ministry of Defence, offered therefore insight into how to operationalise the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity.

The final presentation was an update on the Conceptual Development Implementation Plan that reflects the tasked conceptual projects. In the presentation and update on the achievements was provided to the participants.