NATO Communications and Information Systems School
Provide cost-effective highly developed formal training to personnel (military & civilian) from NATO as well as non-NATO nations for the efficient operation and maintenance of those NATO Communication and Information Systems assigned to NCISS for instruction.
Conduct orientation and management training on NATO CIS for selected (staff) personnel. Within the Systems Approach to Training Methodology conduct Course Design and Development and Internal Evaluation for those courses assigned to and delivered by NCISS and, when requested by ACT (JET) or NCSA HQ, provide assistance with the External Evaluation process to contribute with professional expertise to NATO projects and related training matters.
In October 1959 the civil contractor responsible for establishing a chain of tropospheric scatter radio links, which later became NATO's ACE HIGH Communications System, began to train a small number of NATO personnel. This training was conducted at Borgo Piave in a limited facility provided by MOD Italy for this purpose. In the following years the company personnel were augmented by military instructors who by then had gained practical experience on the system.
In January 1963 SHAPE assumed full control of this still relatively small facility and recruited NATO civilian instructional staff to replace those of the civil contractor.
In 1964 the training responsibility was extended into the area of Command and Control with the introduction of the "Status, Control Alert and Reporting System" (SCARS). The facility at this time was named the "SHAPE Centralised Training Facility" (SCTF). A further expansion occurred in the early 1970's with the addition to the training curriculum of Satellite Communications (SATCOM).
In April 1974 the title of the SCTF was changed to "NATO Communications School Latina" (NCS).
To satisfy the increasing requirements arising from NATO's Integrated Communications System (NICS) concept, a project for a custom built training facility was initiated in 1976. This project called for a facility comprising a training and administrative building and a separate student accommodation block. The new complex was opened in 1983. It enabled the School to take on additional training associated with NICS such as TARE, IVSN and TCF, and allowed the School to cater for future developments within NATO CIS.
The School entered the area of Officer Training in the late 1970's with courses for NATO CIS Staff Officers, Officers CIS Orientation, Communications Security Officers and ADP Site/Terminal Area Security Officers.
On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary in 1989 the School was renamed "NATO Communications and Information Systems School" (NCISS) since with the introduction and increased use of specific Command and Control Information Systems within NATO, a requirement arose for software engineering and programming. In the 1990's the School entered the area of ADP, project management and information systems training, part of it being offered as off-site courses throughout NATO Europe.
In October 1994, the first CIS Officers' Course for Cooperation Partner (CP) Nations was conducted at Latina. This course is now included in our annual training schedule.
The School has successfully introduced Computer Assisted Training (CAT) modules on all its courses and is analysing the parameters for future contractor produced CAT and Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) programs.
In the recent past and to date, the School is challenged with supplementary training, as a result of NATO involvement in "Beyond NATO's Area of Responsibility" operations.
The School response to NATO exercises and especially to SFOR, KFOR and ISAF operations, some of which even with short notice, was decisive for the deployment of qualified technicians and engineers in the new Theatres of Operation. Consequently, the overall student throughput has risen considerably to a peak of more than 4300 attendees in 2010, with a constant annual increase of about 15-20%.
On 1 July 2012 the NATO CIS School became a part of the new NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency). As part of the NCI Agency, work began on a business case to outline the benefits of the move of the NATO CIS School to Oeiras in Portugal which was submitted to the Resource Policy and Planning Board in May 2013. The end of 2013 saw the arrival of a new Commandant, Colonel Silvio Monti of the Italian Air Force. In January 2014, under the NCI Agency reorganisation, the NATO CIS School became a significant element of the new Education and Training Service Line which assumed responsibility for all CIS and Functional Services training for NATO. At the same time, the NCISS as part of the NCI Agency became customer funded; with Allied Command Operations acting as a budget sponsor for a two-year bridging period with full customer funding being implemented on 1 January 2016.
This post is filled by an Italian Air Force Colonel. However, in the past it was covered also by Officers from other Nations.
The name Commandant was first adopted when Mr Robert J. Pinoteau, a contractor first and then a NATO civilian who was a former French Navy Commandant, was appointed as the first Training Facility Director, in 1964. Since then, also when in 1971 the School was under the responsibility of the first military Colonel (Col. RNLA Theodore De Bie) the name has remained, also due to the fact that, being the School hosted in an Italian Air Force Base, in Italian language the appontment of the responsible of a military Unit is pronounced "Comandànte".
The Chief of Staff (COS) and Command Group area
They are responsible of the coordination of the activities assigned to the two Branches of the School, and take care of the planning and policy, either for works and for the training aspects. Additionally they also manage the System Approach to Training (SAT) methodology.
The Training Branch
Core business of the School, the Training Branch is responsible for all training aspects at NCISS. It is composed of a Training Management office, responsible for the student administration, and the instructors are divided into some specific Subject Matter Expert Pools.
The Support Branch
As far as the support to a typical military Unit is concerned, this is taken care of by the Support Branch. Its area of responsibilty covers mainly financial, logistics, security, Information Technology and Personnel aspects.
Mr Clifton Archibald BACON was the representative from "International Standard Engineering Incorporated", who in 1959 took charge of the embryonic School and he then became the Manager assisted by Instructors from the contractor.
ISEI, company producer of ACE High, was in charge for its installation and operational start-up, and conducted the preliminary courses at the Troposcatter Training Facilities (TTF) until NATO provided its own skilled personnel.
Mr Robert J. PINOTEAU, a French NATO A-4 was appointed as the first Director. Under his tenure, as SHAPE assumed control over the Training Facility, in 1964 it was renamed as SHAPE Centralised Training Facility (SCTF).
COL DE BIE
Colonel Theodore De BIE, of the Royal Netherlands Army, was the first military Commandant of the School, who was appointed in 1971 until 28 March 1973.
After a short interim period of Command by Col FERRERI, ITA A, Colonel Arthur. JACKSON of the GBR Army was appointed Commandant in May 1973. Under his tenure, on 1 April 1974 the title of the SCTF was changed to the "NATO COMMUNICATIONS SCHOOL - LATINA" (NCS), thus reflecting more realistically the work of the training facility.
GP CPT TOULL
In 1975 Group Captain Geoffrey TOULL (GBR Royal Air Force) was appointed Commandant of the School until May 1977.
On 11 May 1977 Colonel Gordon HICKMAN (GBR Army) was appointed Commandant until 1978.
On 5 Oct 1978 Colonel Colin GILBERT, GBR Army, assumed command of the School until Sept 1980.
In Sept 1980 Colonel Vincenzo CAVALIERE (ITA Army) was appointed Commandant, the first Italian Commandant of the School. His tenure lasted until Sept 1983.
In Sept 1983 Colonel Cornelio D'AVENIO (ITA Army) was appointed Commandant. He left the School in 1986 with the rank of General.
In September 1986, Colonel Robert G. WICH of the German Air Force was appointed Commandant. Unfortunately, on 08 March 1989, his premature death deprived NCS of his leadership.
As Deputy Commandant, Colonel Giovanni RUSSO of the Italian Air Force was appointed Acting Commandant in March 1989, which tenure lasted until 1990. In his period the School was renamed as NATO Communications and Information Systems School (NCISS), which is still its current name.
On 26th Sept 1990 Col. Federico CASTRONOVO, ITA AF assumed command of the School, until 1992.
In October 1992 Cpt Holger T. PETERSEN (DEU N) assumed the Command of the School. He was Commandant until 1996.
COL van den HURK
In Sept 1996 Col. Bert van den HURK of the Royal Netherland Air Force became Commandant. His tenure lasted until 2000.
In October 2000 Col. Sante PALOMBI took command of the NCISS. His tenure lasted until 12 Dec 2005.
In December 2005 Col. Luigi BORFIGA (ITA AF) assumed Command of the School, which tenure lasted until the 2 Oct 2009.
On 2nd October 2009, the day of the celebration of the 50 years of the School, Col. Antonio CUPPONE (ITA AF) assumed Command of the School. He was Commandant until June 2011.
On 8th September 2011 to 8 October 2013 Col. Marcello TURCHETTA (ITA AF) was Commandant of NCISS.
On 29th October Col. Silvio MONTI (ITA AF) was formally appointed Commandant of NCISS.
2016 - 2017
On 16th December LTC. Dietmar HUBEL (DEU AF) assumed Command of NCISS. His tenure lasted until 19th of May 2017.
On 19th May Col. Paulo NUNES (PRT A) was formally appointed Commandant of NCISS.
Sapere aude is a Latin phrase meaning "dare to be wise". Originally used by Horace, it is a common motto for universities and other institutions, after becoming closely associated with The Enlightenment by Immanuel Kant in his seminal essay, What is Enlightenment?
Kant claimed it was the motto for the entire period, and used it to explore his theories of reason in the public sphere. Later, Michel Foucault took up Kant's formulation in an attempt for a place for the individual in his post-structuralist philosophy and come to terms with the problematic legacy of the Enlightenment.
The purpose of quality assurance within NCISS, is to create planned systematic activities in a quality system to ensure when delivering training solutions or services to stakeholders it meets the requirements for quality in NATO Education and Training. The objective of quality assurance is the continual improvement of the entire curriculum process to enhance quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
Essentially, quality assurance describes the two principles included in quality assurance: "Fit for Purpose" (the product and services are suitable for the intended purpose), and "Right first Time" (mistakes should be eliminated through the forward thinking and planning of resources, materials, and personnel.
1. When quality assurance is well-implemented, progressive improvement, regarding the reduction of errors and oversight and increasing product transfer of training and fit for purpose should be obvious.
2. Quality assurance will function as a "voice" for the customer who expects NCISS to offer sustainable high quality and consistent value to NATO Education and Training.
3. Quality assurance programme is a smooth functioning, well documented and established system that develops continuously to ensure NCISS operations meet NATO accepted quality standards.