Montserrat was represented on a United Kingdom and RSS funded International Joint Operational Planning Course (IJPOC) expert training course, held during the period of 24 June to 28 June 2019 at the former US Air Station in Antigua.
The countries represented at this training course were host country Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent &
the Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago and Chile. The various entities represented included defence and police forces, coast guard units, air wings, customs and immigration departments and prison services. Lieutenant Glenroy Foster represented Montserrat on this training course. The course had a total of 31 participants.
This training course, funded jointly by the UK Department of Defence & the Regional Security System (RSS), aimed to teach officers how to plan in a cross government and multinational context. The systems can be used for deliberate long term planning or short term crisis planning. It focused on the integration of capabilities at the level just below the strategic but above the tactical.
The presenters for the training course were Wing Commander David Williams, Wing Commander Jules Tilley and Commander David Rich. All the presenters are UK military personnel with vast amounts of experience in both planning and executing operations. All three work full time within the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters which is responsible for enhancing the operational effectiveness and efficiency of UK-led joint, potentially joint and multi-national operations, and to exercise operational command of UK forces assigned to multinational operations led by others.
The training course ran through a wide spectrum of tools and procedures for Joint Operation Planning. The course worked to enhance the knowledge of staff officers in the aspects of joint planning, improve the knowledge base of participants in the operations taking place within a Joint Headquarters and equip all with the necessary skills for planning and operating. This focused on the operational level planning using the UK’s interpretation of the NATO 8-step process. It covered strategic context, key building blocks in operational planning, operational assessment & risk and Courses of Action development. It consisted of lecture sessions by the facilitators as well as small group sessions (syndicates) to allow participants to focus on the finer details of the process. The syndicates provided the participants with a scenario to assist in the understanding of the process and tools for operational planning. The scenario was based upon the devastation wreaked by a Major Hurricane passing through the region affecting multiple islands and the resulting HADR operations stemming from the effects of the Hurricane. This scenario provided the participants with an opportunity to improve their competencies in the development of operational plans as well as the use of various tools and procedures used in the development process for successful operations.
Commanding Officer Major Alvin Ryan is very happy at the results of the training opportunity that has been afforded to the Force. He is pleased by the successful completion of the course by Lt. Foster and is confident that the recently completed training course would be highly beneficial to the Force and the country of Montserrat on a whole. Similarly, he is extremely grateful to the British Defence Attaché, Lt. Col. Anton Gash, for the work he and his office has done in allowing the RMDF to be a part of this and other training opportunities. These opportunities are now being afforded to the RMDF on a regular basis and we are committed to show our appreciation and also to keep the public informed.