NATO International Military Staff marks 56th anniversary

  • 23 Feb. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Feb. 2023 17:31

On 23rd February 2023, the NATO International Military Staff gathered to mark its 56th Anniversary. The ceremony, led by the Director General of the NATO International Staff, Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak, was attended by the Deputy Secretary General H.E. Mircea Geoană, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, the NATO Military Representatives and three former Directors General.

NATO International Military Staff marks 56th anniversary

Opening the ceremony, Lieutenant General Adamczak welcomed participants, including three former Directors General, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hans-Werner Wiermann (2019-2022), Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ole Kandborg (1997-2001) and Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jan Folmer (1994-1997), to the first edition of the IMS Day, a commemoration of the founding of the NATO International Military Staff (IMS). 

Established on 10th February 1967, the IMS has been serving the NATO Military Committee as its executive body ever since. “For 56 years, the IMS has been spearheading, designing, implementing and transforming our Alliance. We have entered a new era in geopolitics, transformative for our security and defence, and the IMS is playing a central role in ensuring that NATO is readier, more able and more flexible than ever before”, noted Lieutenant General Adamczak in his remarks. 

Addressing participants, NATO Deputy Secretary General H.E. Mircea Geoană underscored the uniqueness of the IMS, adding that “the IMS is the linchpin between the two sides of our house. Providing invaluable support to the Military Committee and Chiefs of Defence. Helping to turn the decisions of our political leaders into military intent. And enabling our women and men in uniform to fulfil their sacred duty – keeping our people and nations safe”.

Thanking the IMS for their continuous and exemplary support to the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer noting that “on a daily basis, the IMS is involved in all major work strands, supporting the NATO Military Committee, implementing NATO’s three Core Tasks, while maintaining a critical eye on what can be improved, and coordinating all of this with Nations, Partners, across the NATO Chain of Command, with its counterpart - the IS, and other NATO institutions and agencies. This is a lot to juggle for anyone but the IMS does it masterfully”.

Participants were then invited to peruse a small exhibit retracing the history of the IMS, from its genesis as the NATO Standing Group, through its major transformations and reforms, into today’s professional body, which consists of 400 military and civilians staff spread across five divisions, numerous independent offices and supporting entities.