On the 22nd of December, NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (SFA COE) signed a Letter of Intent with Security and Freedom for Europe (SAFE).

The purpose of the Letter of Intent is to identify fields of possible future collaboration regarding joint projects and other relevant activities.

In particular, the two entities agreed the:

  • Promotion of participation by respective staff and leadership in joint projects and relevant activities, such as training, symposiums and events;
  • Use of respective facilities for such activities;
  • Support to and cooperation in editorial projects, reports and research papers.

During the visit, the NATO SFA COE Director, Col. Massimo Di Pietro, was informed of the main activities of SAFE that might be relevant for SFA related activities. In fact, the Director had the opportunity to try a Virtual Reality demo developed by SAFE for a chemical incident simulation. The demo is part of SAFE’s ongoing long-term commitment to the promotion and development of virtual reality systems for training military and civilian operators, particularly in the CBRN arena.

As an example, we can mention the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP)-funded VERTIgO project, which aims to develop an integrated Virtual Reality platform for interoperable training of Military and Civilian Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Operators. The platform will also include a component called “scenario builder” that will allow operators to safely create ad-hoc scenarios independently, without the need for a programmer.

Such kind of virtual enhanced reality training tools can be developed to support defence capacity building programs and enhance Local Forces effectiveness in numerous fields with reduced costs.

The NATO SFA COE research emphasize the value of technology by conducting SFA activities through virtual platforms for increasing the Local Forces capabilities and enhancing their partnership through remote advising.

With this cooperation agreement NATO SFA COE and SAFE will integrate their respective competences in order to offer effective capacity building tools both for NATO and EU training missions.