Welcome to the fifth edition of CCMR Connect. Spring and summer are usually our busiest seasons, and this year is no exception. From brand-new efforts like those associated with the Central American Maritime Regional Initiative to moving projects forward with established partners like the Ukrainian Navy Staff (see below), there’s no time for a dull moment at CCMR these days. The building is abuzz with change this spring as we have brought on fresh faculty/staff members and are preparing to tackle a range of exciting new missions. Stay tuned for more updates, and we hope you enjoy this issue of CCMR Connect.

– CCMR Communications Team


Check out the map for a summary of our February event locations

Faculty Spotlight

Jessie Evans, Regional Program Lead

Defense Governance and Management Team (DGMT)

Jessie Evans is a DGMT Regional Program Lead for Africa in the Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). She is responsible for managing institutional capacity building projects in the US Africa Command area of responsibility.

Previously Jessie served as a security sector reform advisor to the US Mission to Somalia. She pushed for tough adjustments on US security assistance and as a result, the US Ambassador curtailed millions of dollars of assistance to address issues of waste, corruption, and poor alignment to policy goals. She worked with the US military to re-calibrate assistance and determine what benchmarks should be used to re-start support. Prior to Somalia she served the US State Department as a Senior Conflict Specialist living overseas in Burma, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

Jessie served as a Rosenthal Fellow with the Department of Defense focused on Africa policy and is a member of the Women in International Security DC Chapter Board and Truman National Security Project. She received her master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and her BA from Occidental College. She originally hails from Bend, OR.


Defense Governance Management Team Receives Award from Colombian Military

DGMT subject matter experts Hal Laughlin, John Caldwell and Mark Vinson were recently awarded the Colombian General Command of the Military Forces’ “Faith in the Cause” medal. Laughlin and Caldwell received their medals on 4 February 2019, for meritorious services that “… embody the spirit of ethical behavior and dedication to the [Colombian] cause and the nation.” Vinson will receive his during an upcoming visit in March.

Over the past three years Laughlin, Caldwell, and Vinson have worked with the General Command and Public Forces to develop Joint Operational and Functional Concepts, which are now orienting the command’s nascent force employment (concepts, scenarios, and doctrine), force development processes (organizing, training, and equipping), and the command’s ongoing staff transformation towards a ‘Joint Staff-like’ organization.

Through this work, the General Command and Public Force staffs are fulfilling their initial obligations within the Ministry of National Defense’s “Capability Planning and Development Model of the Public Forces,” a document which was developed with DGMT support. This defense planning methodology, which Minister of National Defense Botero approved in 2018, is founded on medium-to-long term capability planning, programming, and budgeting processes that are aligned with Colombia’s political cycle.

DGMT Provides Support to Ukrainian Navy Strategy Development

On November 29, 2018, Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, publicly unveiled his Strategy for Development of the Navy to 2035 during the International Maritime Security Conference held in Kyiv, Ukraine. This marked the successful culmination of sustained CCMR/DGMT support to the Ukrainian Navy Staff’s year-long effort to prepare its first-ever strategy.

IDARM Begins Spring Resident Course Series

IDARM kicked off the first of three courses in the global defense acquisition management resident course pipeline this week, which includes “Principles of Defense Acquisition Management,” “Principles of Defense Procurement and Contracting,” and “International Defense Acquisition Negotiations.” This back-to back series of courses is offered twice per year and affords participants the option of attending one, two, or all three of the courses.

The “Principles of Defense Acquisition Management” resident course provides participants with an understanding of the important concepts and challenges associated with defense acquisition and logistics decision making throughout the defense acquisition life cycle. International best practices are discussed along with the challenges of implementation.

CMEP Leads Disaster Preparedness Assessment in Kosovo

A team from our Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) program was recently in Kosovo to conduct a disaster preparedness capabilities assessment. The team was led by CCMR faculty Ashley Woodson and Karl Frantz, and included experts specializing in emergency management, GIS, and public affairs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa National Guard State Partnership Program.

The team pictured here during their visit with the Kosovo Land Force Command, including a visit to their training facilities, which was one of the many ministries and organizations the team met with to discuss disaster preparedness categories that relate to national-level capability to prepare for and provide effective response.

Maritime Security Program Delivers Seminar for CAMRI Participants

In support of US Southern Command and the State Department’s Central American Maritime Regional Initiative (CAMRI), CCMR’s Maritime Security Program conducted a two-week seminar in Monterey, California.

The first of its kind, the course was attended by sixteen individuals from six CAMRI-eligible countries, including Belize (4), Costa Rica (2), El Salvador (3), Guatemala (3), Honduras, and Panama (3). The discussion addressed numerous transnational maritime threats, strategic and operational-level challenges, opportunities, and methodologies related to a broad range of current maritime security issues in the region.

Civil Military Relations Program Facilitates Discussion on Media and the Military in Niamey

A three-person team from the CMR program traveled to Niamey, Niger in February to deliver an IMET-funded seminar called “The Media and the Military.” Designed to enhance collaboration between media organizations and the security sector, the curriculum for five-day seminar yielded discussion and debate among 29 journalists and four members of the Nigerian security forces.

The team consisted of BG (Ret) Russell Howard, new hire from the CCMR CMR team; Ellen Shipitalo, lead for the CCMR Communications Department; and Dr. Tristan Mabry, NPS faculty member in the National Security Affairs Department. Topics examined in the seminar setting included strategic communications, the ethics of journalism, social media, and communication during crises. The course also featured three small group exercises, where teams were required to role-play as decision makers and develop communications plans in crisis scenarios.

More on new CCMR hire BG (Ret) Russell Howard in the next CCMR Connect.

SC&RE Conducts Seminar for the West Virginia National Guard in Support of State Partnership with Qatar

The Security Cooperation & Regional Education (SC&RE) program conducted a state partnership program workshop for the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) and attending Qatari delegate from 5-7 February 2019. The seminar aimed to enhance the understanding of the WVNG of the historical and socio-political context of their partner and the unique characteristics of the Qatari Armed Forces along with other areas of cooperation.

HQ Updates

Have you seen our unofficial mascot roaming around the CCMR HQ? Share your photos with us on social media #erictheheronccmr @civilmilitaryrelations

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