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Standardised urban warfare training is essential for future conflict

Joint urban SERE training capabilities will have a huge impact on the way that forces operate in future conflicts especially with regards to coalition missions like the one currently being played out in Libya.

Talking to Defence IQ, ahead of the Joint Personnel Recovery event in June, Major Bart Holewijn, Commander at the Royal Netherlands SERE School says that standard joint capabilities as outlined in the latest NATO doctrine, released in January, will ensure standardised training methods that would not have been considered six months ago.

“Training is now standardised which will very much help in PR missions and future NATO operations as people now know that these are the methods that we need to adhere to. It makes procedure easier to follow.”

Major Holewijn adds, “Combining schools into a multi-lateral or bi-lateral school system could make it much more efficient to train students and ultimately save money, which is a consequence of decreasing budgets. Working together will be the biggest trend over the next 12 months.”

With defence budgets being cut, Major Holewijn states it makes sense for countries to set up joint training ventures such as the one between the Netherlands and Belgian training schools that he heads up.

Major Holewijn will be leading a session at the Joint Personnel Recovery conference on 28th June 2011, looking at SERE training and PR policy development:

• Releasing the latest NATO PR policy doctrine to be used as the roadmap for future development
Royal Netherlands Air Force SERE school – developing an integrated European SERE training policy – investigating cooperation with the Belgian SERE School
• Analysing how cooperative efforts between NATO allies can achieve efficient and effective PR operations

Joint Personnel Recovery will take place at Le Meridien Piccadilly in London on 28th – 29th June 2011. The conference programme is available at

In addition, the Joint Personnel Recovery download centre features complimentary podcasts, articles, press releases and reports, all available to download in full.


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