DT News interview: Cmdt of the Peace Support and Training Centre, LCol Gervais, and Colonel Chomsri from the Thai Armed Forces

Video / November 17, 2021


(G) The Peace Support and Training Centre in Kingston, Ontario recently ran a United Nations Military Observers course.

Those who participated now meet the requirements needed to deploy in Military Observer roles, including qualifications in the protection of civilians, gender, Security Risk Management, and improvised explosive device safety.

Today we’re joined by the Commandant of the centre, Lieutenant-Colonel Véronique Gervais and a visiting instructor for the course, Colonel Jiraporn Chomsri from the Thai Armed Forces.

LCol Gervais, Colonel Chomsri, thanks for joining us.

Col Chomsri, what is your background in this area and what specific components of the course did you instruct on?

(JC) Actually, I was a Military Observer and I've have experience in the UN missions, three missions. And for this course, I contribute: investigation, monitoring, and conduct liaison and coordination, which the commandant already mentioned. As the Military Observer, we are the eyes and ears of the mission, and we are the ones who link up between the UN and the local forces. So, the Military Observer Role is paramount for the mission to achieve the mandate.

(G) LCol Gervais, why is it so essential to have visiting instructors from other nations, like Colonel Chomsri, administer part of this training?

(VG) So, also, participants, like international participants, what they bring to our courses is the diversity of thought. You know, diversity is not just about gender. It's about having our international participants also with us. So, they really see the problems from a different perspective than how we would approach the problem. And I think that's really important for such a course.

(G) LCol Gervais, in addition to iterations of the UN Military Observers course, what are some other courses offered through the PSTC and how can those interested get involved?

(VG) So at the centre we have courses and training. So UNMO is one of our courses and on the pre-deployment training we add the individual pre-deployment training. But all those courses and training events you need to be uploaded by CJOC to come on or course so you have to have been chosen to participate in a mission, in a deployment. But we also have six other courses that are on the Army national calendar. So we have three courses on psychological operations, two different courses on CIMIC and one course on information operations. So those courses are offered not only to Canadian Army members, but to CAF members. Any component. So you can be Reg Force, Reserve Force, Army, Navy, Airforce, SOF. You can participate in or courses.

So to be able to upload yourself, you have to go through your your chain of command. But if you go on our website at www.canada.ca and you search for PSTC then you will find all the description of our courses. So you'll see what is the minimal rank and the description of the courses themselves and then you can contact your chain of command and try to get chosen to come to the centre on our courses.

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