Planning the Future with the Guatemalan Armed Forces

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Thanks to the Canadian Forces College (CFC) in Toronto, 38 Guatemalan Armed Forces students obtained operational skills and knowledge to function as junior staff officers in a joint or combined HQ.

The CAF instructors delivered the nine-day Joint Staff Operations course, which teaches the Operational Planning Process, at Guatemala’s Comando Regional de Entrenamiento de Operaciones de Mantenimiento de Paz, a training site in Cobán, north of Guatemala City in mid-Febraury.

“I expect that their operational planning skills will improve directly based upon what we delivered for them,’’ said Lieutenant-Colonel Rick Williams, the JSOP Director of Program Support at the CFC. ‘’We have definitely given them the right tools to work with.”

Packing up and taking the course overseas as such goes beyond the scope of normal CFC operations. This course was conducted at the request of the Directorate Military Training Cooperation (DMTC), a progressive cell under ADM (Pol), which implements the Department’s approach to “defence diplomacy” programs that help advance Canada’s contribution to international peace and security.

“Central American countries have persistent difficulty dealing with Transnational Criminal Organizations which operate extensively in the area,” said Colonel Jamie Cade, the Canadian Defence Attaché for Mexico and Central America.

Delivering the JSOP goes a long way to improve the GAF’s staff planning capacity starting at their combined operation centre, as well as with future planners at subordinate levels throughout the GAF.

“The role that the CAF can play here is assisting them to develop their force generation, command and control, and operational planning capacities,” added Col Cade.

The CFC is part of the Canadian Defence Academy – the Military Personnel Generation (MILPERSGEN)’s Education Group. MILPERSGEN HQ in Kingston, Ont. oversees engagement activities such as the conduct of CFC courses abroad through education programs.

Col Dalton Côté, the Director of External Engagements and Partnerships, highlighted that this effort is part of MILPERSGEN’s broader contribution to defence diplomacy.

“Every year, MILPERSGEN makes a significant contribution to training and educating international partners. Through our engagement and partnership efforts we connect with over 300 international students from more than 25 countries, both in Canada and abroad. The terrific contribution of CFC is a great example of how we are having a meaningful international impact on behalf of Canadians.”


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