Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits partner Ireland

  • 26 Feb. 2024 - 28 Feb. 2024
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  • Last updated: 28 Feb. 2024 15:39

From 26th to 28th February 2024, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer was in Ireland for an official visit at the invitation of the Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy. During the visit, he also met with the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, provided an address to members of the Irish Defence Forces and engaged with the Institute for International and European Affairs.

Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits partner Ireland

After being welcomed at the McKee Barracks, in Dublin, by an Honour Guard, Admiral Bauer joined Lieutenant General Seán Clancy for a wreath laying ceremony, to commemorate all military personnel killed or wounded in action. “NATO and Ireland have been Partners for 25 years now. Throughout that time, Irish troops have served in NATO's missions in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and today, they still stand shoulder to shoulder with Allied forces in our KFOR mission in Kosovo. By working together, we help project stability and security beyond our borders”, Admiral Bauer noted. 

Sitting down with Lieutenant General Clancy, Admiral Bauer thanked Ireland for its commitment to its partnership with NATO and for its leading role in the Partner Interoperability Advocacy Group. “Alongside other members – Austria, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland –, Ireland has been developing its interoperability with Allied forces as well as fostering and maintaining strong dialogue and cooperation with NATO and fellow members. Beign a PIAG member comes with certain privileges, such as an individual security agreement that allows for the exchange of classified information or regular participation in NATO training and exercises”, he underscored.

In his meetings with the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, Admiral Bauer provided an overview of the situation in Ukraine and NATO’s ongoing support to its close Partner. “Both NATO and Ireland have a vested interest in upholding the Rules Based International Order that underpins global security. The ability for Nations, including Ireland, to maintain their neutral status is directly linked to this order. As an Alliance based on shared values, such as democracy, sovereignty and freedom – NATO fully respects Ireland’s choice to maintain its neutrality and that respect is the foundation of our entire partnership”, highlighted the Chair.   

In his lecture to the members of the Irish Joint Command and Staff Course, and the Senior Enlisted Leaders Standing Advisory Group (SELSAG), Admiral Bauer addressed the changed security environment and NATO’s response, including crucial decisions taken at the Vilnius Summit last July. “We have entered a new era of collective defence. As such, NATO is actively reinforcing its collective deterrence and defence. Allies agreed the most comprehensive defence plans since the Cold War and now they are working to ensure that all of the requirements are fulfilled to execute them, when the time comes”, he emphasised. 

At the Institute for International and European Affairs, Admiral Bauer stated that deterrence requires a whole of government and even a whole of society approach. “We are facing the most dangerous world in decades, with a record amount of violence and conflict. We must ensure that we are all better prepared and resources for a conflict scenario, while continuing to help Ukraine in its existential fight”, he concluded.

As NATO’s Contact Point Embassy for Ireland, the Belgian Embassy in Dublin and its Ambassador, H.E. Karen Van Vlierberge organised a roundtable discussion with other Allied Ambassadors assigned to the capital. Discussions focused on the current security environment and the Alliance’s response as well as the requirement for all Allies to live up to their commitments and pledges.