NATO science workshop assesses environmental impact on military operations

  • 04 May. 2010 - 06 May. 2010
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  • Last updated: 14 May. 2010 16:12

From 4 to 6 May, NATO’s Defence and the Environment Experts Group (DEEG) brought together professionals from a range of fields at a workshop in Vienna, Austria, to address environmental risks in military operations.

Lieutenant Jo Horn TA and Chief Petty Officer Ian Lindsey Radiographers from 306 field hosptal use their x-ray machine in a real time incident at the new field hospital at Camp Bastion.

Because NATO’s missions are becoming increasingly complex, they require cooperation among a variety of specialized fields. The workshop aimed therefore to address the impact of environmental factors on NATO operations and achieve interoperability of disciplines to ensure successful missions.

Nearly 40 experts from 14 countries in NATO, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace programme participated, representing the fields of environment; medicine; engineering; and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

This was the second phase of a larger DEEG project, the first phase of which was held in June 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden. As a result of the event in Vienna, work plans, the identification of responsible authorities and timetables for addressing each major risk are being developed. The workshop looked at the following themes:

  • Interoperability: risk management of environmental issues that might pose a concern to mission success;
  • Bridging the communication gap between scientific specialists and the military; and
  • Emerging challenges: what issues are on the horizon and how do we begin addressing them.

The participants shared their knowledge and experience, and discussed the different environmental and health related issues of military deployments with experts from defence ministries, armed forces and other governmental organisations.