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The Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) to the Spanish Chief of Defence attended to 19ª ‘International Command Senior Enlisted Leader Conference’ in Norfolk

Norfolk, Virginia, USA
October 4, 2023

Nineteenth International CSEL’ conference -19thICC

The Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) to the Spanish Chief of Defence Jesús Rabadán Carrascosa, attended the 19th International Conference of CSEL (Command Senior Enlisted Leaders) held in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, as the Spanish representative. This conference was also attended by the CESEDEN CSEL, currently deployed in the Iraq Support Operation (NMI Iraq), Pedro Ángel Sierra Salas.

This Conference is held annually and has been organised and led by the CSEL´ posted to ACO (Allied Command Operations), ACT (Allied Command Transformation) and USEUCOM (United States European Command).

The meeting has been held for 16 years at the George C. Marshal European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany), and the last two editions at SHAPE (Casteau, Belgium), this being the first time it has been held in Norfolk.

The conference was attended by 108 participants from NATO Headquarters, NATO member nations, PfP (Partners for Peace) and invited guests.

The conference is a forum that provides an opportunity to discuss the readiness and challenges faced by the men and women serving in support of common national interests within the Alliance. It is a unique opportunity for senior non-commissioned officers to participate in a stimulating international environment, allowing them to meet highly qualified and experienced professionals and to share with them the vicissitudes and problems of the non-commissioned officer and troop and sailor ranks in different countries. It also serves to enhance the professional qualities of the participants; to improve their ability to perform the duties of NCO at the highest level within national and NATO command structures; and to update them on issues affecting NCOs and Troops and Seamanship within the Alliance.

The meeting continued the ongoing review of the "NATO Non-Commissioned Officer Bi-Strategic Command Strategy and NCO Guidelines", which are intended to become a Directive - rather than Guidelines - on the career development of non-commissioned officers and NCOs in the NATO environment. The main objective and challenge is to establish basic standards that are flexible and adaptable to all 31 NATO member states.

Among the various lectures it should be underlined the one given by SACEUR, the American General Christopher G. Cavoli, in which he pointed out what is expected of NCOs and troop and sailor personnel in the NATO environment and encouraged those present to continue the work for the drafting of the directive, to whose initiative he gave his full support.

The SACT, French General Philippe Lavigne, spoke about the current situation and future challenges facing the Alliance, while the 2nd Commander of HQ JFC Norfolk, British Rear Admiral Tim Henry, focused on the mission, structure and Area of Responsibility.

The Spanish CSEL Jesús Rabadán Carrascosa was received by Vice Admiral Ignacio Céspedes Camacho, Chief of Staff of HQ JFC Norfolk, the highest Spanish authority( ESP-Senior) posted to HQ Norfolk.