Director General of the NATO International Military Staff visits Ireland
Lieutenant General Jan Broeks, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff visited Ireland on 14-15 June 2017. During his visit, Lieutenant General Broeks met with Lieutenant General Mark Mellett, Chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann (Irish Armed Forces) and had meetings with high-ranking Irish officials. He also laid a wreath honouring Fallen Irish Soldiers.
Lieutenant General Broeks, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff, was welcomed by the Lieutenant’s Honour Guard in Dublin. After inspecting the troops, the Director General laid a wreath in honour of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price in service to their nation.
During his meeting with Lieutenant General Mark Mellet, Chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann (Irish Armed Forces), Lieutenant General Broeks received a comprehensive briefing on Ireland’s Defence Forces and ongoing reforms. The Director General was also briefed on Ireland’s national and overseas operations and their UN, EU and NATO engagements. The Director General acknowledge the role Ireland has been playing in international peacekeeping, “partnerships are essential to NATO’s mission and help the Alliance manage these challenges successfully and contribute to global security and stability. Based on the considerable peacekeeping experience of the Irish Defence Forces, Ireland contributes actively to a variety of PfP activities in areas such as planning for peacekeeping and peace support, communications, command and control, operational procedures, logistics and training”.
The generals then discussed the current security environment and the transformation and capabilities required to face these challenges. Lieutenant General Broeks also extended his thanks for the support Ireland has demonstrated by sending personnel to KFOR and the Resolute Support Mission. The general added “Irish cooperation with NATO is based on a longstanding policy of military neutrality, which allows for its armed forces to be used for peacekeeping and crisis management where there is a United Nations mandate, a government decision and parliamentary approval”.
Ireland joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) and became a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1999.