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ISTAR Architecture in Mountain Operations

The 5-day ISTAR Architecture in Mountain Operations seminar was conducted between 8 and 12 October, 2018 in Poljče, Slovenia, involving mainly classroom activities (ex-cathedra teaching and discussion).

The seminar was attended by 17 participants and several guest speakers from Austria, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Slovenia and the USA, and hosted by distinguished lecturers of the armed forces from all participating nations. The seminar also involved academia-level lectures, held by representatives of the Slovenian Faculty of Arts, and the Slovenian Armed Forces Military Museum. A significant contribution was made by the Anton Melik Geographical Institute, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Based on the initial studies of past operations in mountain terrain, the seminar focused on the specifics and experiences needed for planning the employment of ISTAR assets and capabilities for mountain operations successfully in support of the Commander and his decision-making process.

Lectures were related to the general ISTAR overview, architecture, assets and products, and its relation to the operational planning process and intelligence preparation of the battlefield. Explained were the ISTAR capabilities derived from the capabilities of the Light Mountain Infantry Brigade. The seminar focused on the specifics of usage of different ISTAR assets in difficult mountainous terrain and the role of mountain experts in gathering and analysis of information.

As the seminar will serve as a platform for sharing and exchanging information in the field of Mountain Warfare, we believe that it was an ideal opportunity for all participants to gain new experience and provide conclusions which could serve as a guidance for the employment of ISTAR capabilities in mountain operations in support of the Commander and his decision-making process.

During the seminar, several common conclusions were arrived at which could serve for the planning of possible operations in mountains. As the seminar involved the MW community of interest, it proved to be a unique opportunity to share and merge international know-how on this subject matter.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the NATO MW COE and do not necessary reflect the official policy of NATO.