Conference of European Armies for Non-Commissioned Officers

Thursday June 19, 2008

What is it?

USAREUR held the 2nd annual Conference of European Armies for non-commissioned officers (CEANCO) from June 10-12 , 2008. CEANCO is a forum in which the senior Army NCOs of allied and partner nations discuss pertinent NCO Corps development issues. It is the enlisted counterpart of the Conference of European Armies--attended annually by the Army chiefs of staff and equivalents from 42 countries. The theme was "Building Tomorrow's Non-Commissioned Officer Corps Today."

What has the Army done?

In 2007, USAREUR initiated the CEANCO to provide a non-attributional environment in which senior coalition NCOs identify strategic-level challenges to the NCO Corps and develop solutions for implementation. USAREUR cosponsored this year's conference with the Bundeswehr--the Army of the Federal Republic of Germany. Landesgruppe C, Bundeswehr NCO Academy and the mayor of Weiden in der Oberpfalz, near Grafenwoehr Training Area, graciously hosted several events. LTG John D. Gardner, deputy commander, Allied/Land Component Command in Heidelberg, gave the keynote address. CSM Luniasolua T. Savusa, USAREUR, command sergeant major served as the lead facilitator. Among those with CSM Savusa at CEANCO, were 46 current and former senior enlisted leaders including 16 Land Component and Joint Forces CSMs, sergeants major of the Army, and senior advisors to the chiefs of defense (CHOD).

This year's conference addressed (1) Recruiting and retention of quality NCOs in our coalition formations, and (2) Establishing/expanding non-commissioned officer education systems (NCOES) among partner armies.

The itinerary also included a leader forum on Officer/NCO relationships--empowering NCOs, and building successful "command teams." This event was led by commanders and senior NCOs of the 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team who will deploy to Operation Iraqi Freedom again this fall. The most vital aspect of this conference is that coalition leaders come together as colleagues with all participants equal contributors in working groups and bilateral discussions.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

USAREUR is expanding CEANCO to enable other nations to host future conferences. Our Army must continue to build strong relationships among the NCO Corps of our allies and coalition partners--sharing lessons learned and best practices to improve interoperability.

Why is this important to the Army?

CEANCO is vital to the Army and United States' security cooperation efforts in Europe. It is the only event of its type where senior NCOs convene regularly to strengthen personal and professional relationships with their coalition counterparts. In an era of persistent conflict, this conference is relevant to USAREUR's strategy of "Building Tomorrow's Leaders and Coalitions Today." The Army in Europe is uniquely postured to train with our allies in theater--increasing combatant commander capabilities for future multi-national operations.


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"We don't understand Americans. We have yet to understand how compassionate Americans are - how they want to help the Afghan people. When I go back, I'm sure to call my village together and tell them how they are here to help and that we should openly embrace them."

- Ahmad, the father of a 10-year-old Afghan boy who was diagnosed by coalition doctors as having terminal cancer

U.S. Special Forces aid dying Afghan boy


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