Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NATO, SHAPE, EUCOM, AFRICOM: Trekking to Brussels

What do Clausewitz, Ronald Reagan, Sun Tzu and Napoleon have in common?

They were all quoted by speakers during the SAIS Bologna Defense and Intelligence Club’s career trek to Brussels.

Following up on the successful career services-led trip to the Belgian capital, the D&I Club sought a trip that focused more specifically on Strategic Studies and took advantage of being on the European continent to visit key defense and military installations in Europe.

From March 4-6, thirteen SAIS students from Bologna and DC and specializing in a range of concentrations (Strategic Studies; European Studies; Middle East Studies; Energy Resources and Environment, and American Foreign Policy) took a whirlwind tour de force, visiting and hearing from experts in Brussels, Mons and Stuttgart.

In Brussels/Mons:
·         North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
o   Public Diplomacy Division,
o   United States Mission to NATO,
o   Director of Arms Control,
o   Director of NATO-Russia and NATO-Ukraine relations, and
o   Human Resources
·         Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)
o   Public Affairs
o   Human Resources
o   EU Liaison Department

In Stuttgart:
·         U.S. European Command (EUCOM)
o   Head of Intergovernmental Liaison Directorate (J9)
o   Public Affairs
o   George C. Marshall Center Liaison,
o   Head of EUCOM Intern Coordination
o   Chief of Black Sea/Eurasia Policy (J5)
·         U.S. African Command (AFRICOM)
o   Intergovernmental Liaison Directorate (J9)
o   Chief of Policy Planning (J5)
o   Chief of Human Resources and Manpower Directorate (J1/8)
o   Intelligence/Knowledge Development (J2)
o   Public Affairs Office
o   Strategic Communications
o   State Department Liaison

Students had the opportunity to do some networking and to mingle with SAIS alumni during a (delicious) lunch at NATO headquarters and a happy hour in a chic Brussels bar (yes, there is such a thing).

The trip was more than a chance to traipse around Europe, meet up with alumni and eat lots of frites and waffles (although that certainly happened). It was a chance to hear about immediate and longer-term opportunities for internships and employments with organizations that students may not have considered at first, as well as a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a multilateral organization, a U.S. overseas diplomatic mission and two military bases that are the only U.S. combatant commands located overseas. In short, the trip was an invaluable learning opportunity.

Here’s the best part: all of our hosts said they were very impressed with the group, and they would be happy to host us again next year.

Ann Dailey (BC13)

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