10 • Transformation Through Training • Issue No: 11 • November 2018 JFTC conducted two NALT advisor training sessions in 2017: 28-31 March; and 3-6 October. JFTC Commander was assigned the responsibility of Officer Directing the Exercise (ODE). According to the NATO training doctrine, the ODE is the organization which has the task of actually planning and executing the training. As oversight, the roles of the Officer Scheduling the Exercise (OSE) and Officer Conducting the Exercise (OCE) were assigned to IS-Ops and COM NALT, respectively. The aim of the training events was to prepare advisors deployed to support the NATO mission in Kosovo for their roles of advising and assisting KSF and the MKSF. Depending on their nation of origin, advisors assigned to NALT receive little to no advisor-specific training from their home nations prior to their deployment. This is in stark contrast to personnel deploying to the RS mission who receive a 10-day focused training package at JFTC prior to their arrival in theatre. Due to the personnel rotation scheme within NALT, advisors do not arrive enmasse in formed contingents. Rather, a new advisor arrives every 2-3 weeks, has a short handover with his predecessor and then starts his job. While continuity within the mission is not compromised due to mass arrivals and departures, bringing a single advisor up-to-speed on the mission specifics every few weeks poses a significant challenge to operations and the NALT leadership. The average tour length for a NALT advisor is six months, with some select senior advisor positions on tour for one year. Planning for the training was truly a joint venture between JFTC and NALT staffs and began approximately six months before the first serial was to be executed. There were a number of key considerations/ factors that focused our planning efforts. First, it was decided that the training had to occur at NALT HQ in Pristina, Kosovo, forcing the formation of a JFTC mobile training team. This decision added an administrative and logistical burden for the JFTC trainers but it allowed us to deliver training “on the ground” which proved to be an excellent choice. JFTC provided four personnel for the first serial and three for the second iteration. Second, the training would be aimed at advisors who had less than two months in theatre. For each of our serials we had nine NALT trainees (over 1/3 of all NALT advisors), with time in theatre ranging from 2 days to two months. On average, three of the nine advisor trainees were civilians and had the added challenge of assimilating to a predominantly military culture within the NALT. None of the advisors used English as their first language and this fact added to the training challenge of ensuring trainees actually understood the material that was being presented. Given this diverse training audience, the task was to create a balanced training program that did not overwhelm brand new people nor bore those advisors that likely considered themselves experts after advising their counterparts for two months. The challenge all new NALT advisors face is to quickly assimilate and understand the multitude of MKSF/KSF policies and procedures as well as learning the art of advising in a foreign culture. The four- day training package delivered by JFTC and NALT subject matter experts consisted of two days of academic training focusing on the history and culture of Kosovo and its security institutions, SFAprinciples, Role of theAdvisor / Use of Interpreter, as well as a round table discussion with the numerous international organizations and bi-lateral partnerships working in the region. A field trip was also conducted to MKSF HQ where senior KSF officers (who had worked with many advisors) provided forthright perspectives and stated their expectations for how the advisor-advisee partnership should work. The final two days of training was composed of practical training where each person conducted a roleplay with a simulated Kosovar counterpart, working through an interpreter, to discuss complex and often contentious issues. Those trainees not in the roleplay “hot seat” were observers and offered constructive comments during the debrief phase. The trainees were also exposed to basic language training classes (Albanian and Serbian) as well as advanced influence and negotiation techniques. The culminating event for the training was the Advisor Forum where more experienced NALT advisors, acting as a panel of experts, provided their perspectives and insights on advising. In summary, the training goal was to provide the new NALT advisor with a good understanding of the mission and to enhance those “soft skills” and qualities that are importantforeffectiveadvisorstopossesswhen they interact with their advisee counterparts. The After-Action-Review comments provided by the training audience indicated that the training they received was valuable and pertinent. In particular, those advisors with two months’ experience under their belts wished they had access to the training sooner in their tour. An unintended side benefit to the training event was a marked improvement in team cohesion and morale within the NALT itself and also with its contracted interpreter section who got to show that they were valuable resources with a vast knowledge of the local culture and its peculiarities. ■