NATO tests Science for Peace and Security projects in Montenegro
NATO successfully live-tested two Science for Peace and Security (SPS) projects as part of the consequence-management field exercise held in Montenegro in November 2016. Under the SPS Programme, NATO is supporting the clearance of unexploded ordnance in Montenegro and developing a multinational telemedicine system for emergency situations.
Organised jointly by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro, the field exercise “Crna Gora 2016” focused on the international response to floods and chemical incidents, which affects the civil population and critical infrastructure. NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller attended the exercise and the demonstrations of the SPS projects.
Detecting and destructing unexploded ordnance
In Montenegro, large quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO) still remain from past wars, making protection against them all the more important. Floods can also expose land mines that were long-buried. As a consequence, they pose a significant threat to civilian populations in areas that were previously considered clear and safe. The UXO clearance team from the Montenegrin Ministry of Interior demonstrated their new skills during the exercise. The team was previously trained as part of an SPS project launched in 2014 to provide the UXO clearance team with assistance in the detection and destruction of UXOs.
“This project significantly contributed to the enhancement of capabilities of the UXO clearance team in accordance with International Mine Action Standards,” explained Mr Mirsad Mulic, Directorate for Emergency Management at the Ministry of Interior. Additionally, Montenegro was able to join Protocol V of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which sets out obligations and best practices for the clearance of explosive remnants of war.
Developing a telemedicine system for emergencies situations
Also, during the exercise, Ms Gottemoeller attended a live demonstration of an SPS project that is developing a multinational telemedicine system for emergency situations.
The uniqueness of this project lies in its ability to interconnect various national telemedicine capabilities and cultivate an international network of medical specialists. Through the use of modern communication technologies, medical specialists will be able to assess patients, diagnose them and provide real-time recommendations to the care-giver on site. Telemedicine will provide the necessary expertise that is not present at the scene of the disaster.
“The multinational telemedicine system will have a dual-use potential, spanning both military and civilian NATO missions and contribute to increased survival rates,” explained Dr Eyüp Turmus, SPS Advisor and Programme Manager.
Ultimately, the projects will enhance NATO’s defence capacity building efforts and contribute to the Alliance’s mission to project stability beyond its borders.