Shaping the Future Together: The 2024 European Training Centers Conference Marks Milestones and New Beginnings

Shaping the Future Together: The 2024 European Training Centers Conference Marks Milestones and New Beginnings

In a pivotal event that underscores the evolution of military preparedness, the Conference of European Training Centers 2024 (CETC 24) highlighted collective training, presenting it not as a new concept but as a resurgence of a fundamental principle adapted to contemporary conditions. Brigadier General Ladislav Rebilas, Commander of the Training Command-Military Academy (VeV-VA/TCMA), emphasized this perspective in his keynote speech, marking a significant moment for the Military Academy which, for the first time, played co-host alongside the US Army's 7th Army Training Command (7ATC) and took center stage in Vyškov.

This year's conference was more than just another annual gathering; it held deep significance for the Czech Republic and the broader NATO alliance. It coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Czech Republic's NATO membership and the 70th anniversary of NATO itself, adding layers of historical and strategic depth to the event.

This conference, as highlighted by General Rebilas' opening remarks, concentrated on the significance of collective training in enhancing the capabilities of the armies of the Alliance's member nations and their partners. Over a hundred delegates from 26 countries convened in Vyškov to explore this theme. Czech participants, in particular, had the chance to share information, knowledge, and experiences with their international counterparts right on their home ground. Moreover, the event served as a vital forum for discussions with leading experts at the forefront of this field.

"The conference held on 10-11 April 2024 sought to foster a dialogue among training centers with the objective of improving the quality of collective training internationally, as well as promoting a shared vision of interconnectivity and interoperability," explains Deputy Commander of VeV-VA, Colonel Ondřej Havel. The concept of interoperability, defined as the ability for mutual and effective cooperation, along with the importance of discussing NATO-related issues to enhance collaboration, was highlighted from the start by Brigadier General Steven P. Carpenter, Commander of the 7th Army Training Command.

The two-day agenda was filled with presentations and panel discussions on a broad array of topics. These included joint training opportunities available within European Training Centers, participation in international military training programs and courses, the sharing of insights on planning, organizing, conducting, and evaluating collective training at the international level, and the creation of military training programs to address current security challenges. "A significant focus was also on the training of multinational divisions, management and potential sharing of training facilities, training supported by simulation technologies, and, and, notably, presentations by representatives of the Ukrainian Hetman Petro Sahaidachny National Army Academy," Colonel Havel noted. He also highlighted the capabilities and future vision of the Vyškov Military Academy, together with Colonel Václav Malát, who presented insights into the Centre for Simulation and Simulator Technologies.

The significance of the conference was emphasized through a video message from the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Christopher G. Cavoli. He had personally visited the NATO Multinational Battlegroup in Slovakia at the end of March this year.

"The combination of co-hosting and the honor of organizing this year's event in our country signifies the start of an important new chapter. This chapter is defined by emerging capabilities, opportunities, and paths that enhance VeV-VA's uniqueness within the Ministry of Defense," Brigadier General Ladislav Rebilas concludes. The event also underscores the fact that VeV-VA is celebrating its 15th anniversary since its establishment this year.


Monika Nováková (23. Duben 2024)