The NATO Military Committee visits Strategic Allied and NATO assets in Italy
From 19 to 21 February, the NATO Military Committee and its Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach visited Italy. The three-day visit included visits to the Poggio Renatico Air Base, the NATO Defense College and the NATO Joint Force Command in Naples.
On the first day, the NATO Military Committee was hosted by the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) in Poggio Renatico and received a briefing on the crucial role it plays within the Alliance. “Poggio Renatico Air Base is a double-hatted facility. It serves as Deployable Air Command and Control Centre for NATO but it also assumes the Air Operations Command for the Italian Air Force, providing critical C2 and air reconnaissance to our Alliance, and its missions and operations”, highlighted the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. The NATO Military Representatives were also able to review the Deployable Combined Air Operations Centre (DCAOC) and the Italian Air Control Centre, Recognised Air Picture Production Centre and Sensor Fusion Post i.e. ARS.
The NATO Military Committee then headed to Rome for a day of panel discussions on “The South”, “Current and Future Challenges” and “Transatlantic Unity”, at the NATO Defense College. The College provides essential background and research to NATO that informs its work and decisions. In parallel, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach delivered the address to new course members during the Inaugural Ceremony. He underlined that “for almost all of our 70 year history, the NATO Defense College has delivered first class education and provided the commitment for lifelong learning. To all those who participate in courses here - you may come to represent your Nations at NATO headquarters and contribute to shaping the course of our great Alliance. So I encourage you to absorb all that you can as this will contribute to the leaders you will become.”
The afternoon was spent at the Centre for Defence Higher Studies where the NATO Military Representatives received briefings on the activities undertaken by NATO’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE). “The CMRE is a world-class scientific research and experimentation facility that enables NATO Nations and Partners to work more effectively and efficiently together by prioritising national needs and focusing on research and technology challenges as well as bringing together world-class scientists”, underlined Air Chief Marshal Peach.
The last day was spent at the NATO Joint Force Command (JFC) in Naples. After being welcomed by the JFC Commander, Admiral James Foggo, the NATO Military Representatives took part in three strategic sessions where they were briefed on different topics regarding the strong bonds and relations between the Hub and the African Union as well as on counter terrorism. In addition, the NATO Military Committee received an update on the current situation in the Balkans and the NATO Mission in Iraq. “The work done at this Joint Force Command ties in directly to NATO’s overall defence and deterrence. The recent decisions taken by the Minister of Defence, namely to enhance the NATO Mission Iraq by taking on some of the Global Coalition’s current training activities and by increasing the capacity of the Iraqi armed forces, will increase your pivotal role to NATO’s Command Structure”, concluded the Chairman.