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High ranking Chinese military delegation at NUPS

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The delegation of the class of strategic studies of the National Defence University (People’s Republic of China) led by Lieutenant General Hu Xiutang visited the National University of Public Service as part of their European visit on 8 June 2016.

The members of the delegation were briefed about the overall mission of the National University of Public Service, the military officer training at the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training as well as the Military General Staff Training Centre. Furthermore, the guests gained insight into the activities of the Centre for Strategic and defence Studies and the Research Centre for Chinese Society and Economics.

Lieutenant General Hu Xiutang appreciated the reception and reminded that the Chinese partner of NUPS is devoted to enhancing the bilateral cooperation.

SACT liaison to the Pentagon at NUPS

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Dr. BG Imre Porkoláb, liaison officer of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) in the Pentagon and an expert on guerrilla warfare and counterterrorism held a lecture at the Faculty of Military Science and Officer Training at NUPS on 4 February 2016.

In his presentation titled “NATO integration: the impact of future security challenges and the changes of warfare on the capacity-development of NATO”, Brigadier General Porkoláb emphasized that the already noticeable and comprehensive challenges demand continuous future-analysis. This task was initiated after the Chicago Summit in 2012 and is projected until 2030.

The speaker also reminded about the importance of developing military capabilities and outlined its 10 different areas. Regarding strategic thinking, Brigadier General Porkoláb highlighted the definition of resilience which contains the correlation between robustness, fragility, re-construction and constancy. As for foresight, he referred to the risks arising from urbanization (with nearly 2,5 billion people living in large cities, 90% of which located on the seaside), to the issues of global reconnaissance (using inter alia drones), and to hybrid warfare gaining ground in the changes in the nature of warfare.

From the perspective of leadership, Brigadier General Porkoláb explained Clausewitz’s definition that war is the conflict of human wills. As for the future, the speaker mentioned adult education, cognitive dominance and technology as the main factors of a good leader. He emphasized how differently young people think about leadership, as highlighted by researches. The speaker also pointed out that nearly 40% of leaders actually have an impact on their subordinates, whereas 20% explicitly halters the organizational operation and 30% being devoted and supportive of operation.

Brigadier General Porkoláb highlighted on the fact that – due to the achievements in microelectronics, telecommunications, and the production of synthetic materials – weapons have also become subjects of science. Artificial intelligence or “human-machine collaboration” also belongs to this area. As a result of this process, today the traditional linear combat has been replaced by combat utilizing variable electronic systems.

Advancing towards a Common European Officer Training

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The “Nicolae Balcescu” Land Forces Academy hosted the second conference of the International Military Academic Forum (iMAF) in Sibiu, Romania. The main purpose of the event was to determine the requirements commonly expected from a European military officer throughout an international semester relying on a jointly established basis and earlier developed subjects.

In 2014 the National University of Public Service, the University of Defence (Czech Republic), the General Tadeusz Kościuszko Military Academy of Land Forces (Republic of Poland), the “Nicolae Balcescu” Land Forces Academy (Romania) and the Theresan Military Academy (Austria) signed an agreement about planning, organising and conducting future International Military Academic Forum (iMAF) with the aim of establishing a possible joint military officer training.

The first conference constructing the requirements of the basic subjects in joint military officer training was already held in summer 2014.

This year’s conference had 120 participants from 12 countries and the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). The event served as a great opportunity for further developing our international relations, present the trainings at our university and to spotlight the activities in mobility that are already underway within the ERASMUS+ programme.

The conference had tangible results, as it served as another step towards a future European military officer training to be managed along common principles. Naturally, in such a training national characteristics continue to play a dominant role, however, the knowledge and experience to be acquired by a future military officer could be of European quality.