SAG/SSG Meetings

To date, IFPA has organized the following Senior Advisory Group (SAG)/Senior Steering Group (SSG) meetings in cooperation with the NATO Special Operations Headquarters  (NSHQ) leadership:

June 16–17, 2009,Brussels and Mons, Belgium
At this first meeting, SAG members were introduced to the NSHQ, given briefings about its capabilities, personnel, mission-taskings, and its role in operational planning for Afghanistan.
September 9–11, 2009, Rome, Italy
This meeting was held in conjunction with a larger NATO SOF Symposium, “NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) – Key to Mission Success at the Strategic Level.” At this second meeting, SAG members discussed implications of the new NATO Strategic Concept for SOF employment and mission planning, as well as opportunities for enhanced intelligence sharing and the operational development of Alliance SOF.
Brussels and Mons, Belgium, March 10–11, 2010
SAG members discussed models for the creation of a NATO SOF aviation element and considered new mission areas for which NATO SOF capabilities might be tasked.
November 21–23, 2010, Mons, Belgium
This meeting of the Senior Steering Group (SSG, formerly called the Senior Advisory Group, or SAG) was organized in conjunction with the NATO SOF Commanders' Conference and the formal activation ceremony of the NATO SOF Headquarters. At this meeting, Dr. Jamie Shea, then of the Secretary General's Private Office, reported on the results of NATO's Lisbon Summit and highlighted the creation of a new NATO directorate focused on emerging security challenges (where he will now work as its Deputy Assistant Secretary General). The SSG also considered ways to boost support for SOF forces, planning, and capabilities in national capitals and discussed new mission areas, emanating from NATO's New Strategic Concept, for NATO SOF.
May 24–26, 2011, Krakow, Poland
This SSG meeting took place in conjunction with the NATO SOF Commanders' Conference and the dedication of the new Polish SOF Headquarters. The NATO SOF Commanders' Conference featured a panel presentation by four SSG members, focusing on lessons learned from Afghanistan and recent operations. The four SSG members who participated on this panel—Dr. Jacquelyn K. Davis, Dr. Rob de Wijk, Commodore Lars Wille-Jorgensen, and Dr. Andrzej Karkoszka—had each traveled to Afghanistan with members of the NSHQ and met with ISAF and national SOF teams to hear their perspectives on lessons-learned and the way ahead for NATO SOF planning, training and education, and capabilities development. This meeting also featured the participation of senior Polish defense officials and leaders from U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), including Admiral Eric Olson.
September 27–28, 2011, Mons, Belgium
Held at the NSHQ and at Chievres air base, this SSG meeting focused on the implications of the New NATO Strategic Concept for SOF and delved into issues associated with Afghanistan, Libya, and NATO partner engagement.
January 10, 2012, The Hague, the Netherlands
IFPA collaborated with the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies to organize this meeting, a workshop on Somalia and future requirements for counter-piracy and counter-terrorism planning. The workshop explored options for dealing with piracy and its potential use by al-Shabab to destabilize Somalia and its regional partners, and to understand more precisely the possibilities for and/or constraints on an expanded use of NATO, the European Union (EU), or national forces to support the African Union mission in Somalia (AUMIS), to shore up the position of the Transnational Federal Government (TFG) in and possibly beyond Mogadishu, and to empower regional forces in their fight against violent extremists on the African continent. A related workshop objective was to explore the possibilities for enhancing and broadening intelligence collaboration on counter-piracy and counter-terrorism planning between NATO and the EU, and how such collaboration could enable NATO SOF to position themselves more effectively should the Alliance's political leaders decide to support a more forward-leaning position on Somalia and the Horn of Africa, either to facilitate World Food Program deliveries or to employ the use of force, under a new UNSC mandate, to target jihadi training camps, pirate bases, or other related logistical infrastructure on the ground in Somalia.