News:Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

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Supreme Allied Commander Europe meets senior leaders in Montenegro

4 FEB 2016
PODGORICA, Montenegro – General Phil Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, spent time in Montenegro this week for the first time since NATO Foreign Ministers unanimously agreed to invite Montenegro to begin accession talks to become the twenty-ninth member of the Alliance.
General Breedlove met with several senior leaders to include Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro, Ranko Krivokapic, President of the Parliament, Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister and Montenegrin Army Chief of Staff Dragan Samardzic to discuss moving forward in the accession process.

General Phil Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, meets with Montenegrin Army Chief of Staff Dragan Samardzic and military members during a discussion in Podgorica, Montenegro Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016. – NATO Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Danielle Brandt, USN

“We are fully committed to the accession of Montenegro and look forward to them becoming a part of the Alliance,” said General Breedlove. “The soldiers have not only successfully adopted the NATO standards but have considerably improved their capabilities which is why I am very confident that Montenegro can become a full-fledged member of NATO.”
The SACEUR underlined the positive and close cooperation needed from NATO member states for the stabilization of Europe and reconfirmed Montenegro’s selection based on a result of a high level of responsibility, professionalism and dedication.
Montenegro was invited to begin accession talks to become the twenty-ninth member of the Alliance.  It is not possible to say how long the whole process will take.  For the last NATO enlargement it took about one year.

Change of Command at NATO Military Liaison Office

3 FEB 2016
BELGRADE, Serbia  – Italian Brigadier General Cesare Marinelli assumed the position of the Chief of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade from Italian Brigadier General Lucio Batta at the Change of Command ceremony held at the Serbian Army Hall on Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016.
The event was attended by Chief of Staff of the Joint Force Command Naples, Lieutenant General Leonardo di Marco, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Zoran Djordjevic, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Jovica Draganic, members of the Serbian government and military, as well as diplomatic, media, and NGO representatives.

A Change of Command ceremony took place on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2016 at the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade. – Photo courtesy of NATO MLO Belgrade

“NATO and Serbia are engaged in many practical cooperation programs and the Alliance remains dedicated to deepening our relations in areas of common interest,” said Brigadier General Marinelli. “I am especially looking forward to continue working with the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces in further supporting their defence reform activities.”
Brigadier General Batta completes a two-year mandate as the Chief of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, which he also headed in 2008. “I commend the commitment and professionalism of the Serbian authorities in developing our partnership and I wish every success to Brigadier General Marinelli and his team in future endeavors,” said Brigadier General Batta.
Brigadier General Marinelli is the seventh Chief of the NATO MLO Belgrade since its establishment in December 2006. The Office facilitates Serbian cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace programme, supports Serbia’s efforts in matters of defence sector reform, and provides assistance to NATO’s public diplomacy activities.
Story by NATO MLO Belgrade

 NATO Force Integraton Units are off to a busy start

3 FEB 2016
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The Alliance’s six new small headquarters in Eastern Europe – the NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) –are off to a busy start. Inaugurated six months ago in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, the units have since participated in major military exercises and welcomed new staff. They are on track to become fully operational by the Warsaw Summit in July 2016.
“These small headquarters are part of the most significant reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence since the end of the Cold War,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the opening of the NFIU in Lithuania last September. At that time, NATO’s flag was raised over six such units in Bucharest (Romania), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Tallinn (Estonia), and Vilnius (Lithuania). They serve as a vital link between national forces and multinational NATO forces. If required, the units will also support reinforcements, helping forces move quickly and effectively.

The President of Bulgaria and the NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General cut a ribbon to officially open the new NATO Force Integration Unit in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept 3, 2015. Political and military members of NATO gathered to celebrate the activation of six NFIUs, which enhance NATO capability in alliance nations. -NATO photo by Capt. Kay M. Nissen

In the last six months, NFIU commanders have worked on establishing and staffing the units. At full strength, each office will have around 40 staff, half coming from the host country and the rest from other Allies. Diverse teams are being formed: the unit in Latvia will host personnel from eight Allies, while there will soon be 14 nations represented at the NFIU in Lithuania.
The units are already gearing up to help plan and exercise NATO forces. The Estonian unit participated in planning exercise Arcade Fusion 2015, while the Polish one made its debut during Noble Jump 2015. This year will challenge the NFIUs with an even busier exercise schedule.
To support NATO’s ability to defend Eastern Allies, two more small NATO headquarters will be activated in the near future, in Hungary and Slovakia.

Source:Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe


L. J. De Rothschild

Senior Editor

NATO Section

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Robert Williams

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