Updated: 01-Dec-2003 NATO Speeches


1 Dec. 2003

Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion - Progress Report

Contribution of the Czech Republic's Minister of Defence Miroslav KOSTELKA to the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting

CBRN Defence Battalion is a multinational unit with a voluntary Lead Nation to ensure the establishment of the HQ leadership, staff and support dements. SHAPE has prepared the CBRN Defence Battalion Concept and is the main coordinator of this project.

The Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion will provide specific NBC defence capabilities, timely assessments and advice to deployed NATO Commanders and their Staff. It will be tailored to the mission and be capable of operating across the full spectrum of NATO operations.

The mission of the Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion is to provide rapidly a credible NBC capability, primarily to deployed NATO joint forces and commands, in order that Alliance freedom of action is maintained in an NBC threat environment.

On 28 October 2003 a Force Generation Conference was held at SHAPE, with the aim to generate units for establishment of the battalion. As a result of the conference, the battalion will consist of units from 11 Allies: Czech Republic (lead nation), USA, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Rumania and Turkey. In addition to the nations above, other Allies contributed individual experts to the Joint Assessment Team (Canada, Norway).

On the conceptual side, SHAPE prepared a Military Concept for the NATO Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion. The key points of the concept are:

  • Capability to address full range of CBRN environment
  • Initial Operational Capability (lOC) by 1 December 2003
  • Full Operational Capability (FOC) by 1 July 2004
  • Certification and training as per NRF
  • Delineate relationship of components of the battalion
  • The battalion will be a joint, high readiness, multinational, multifunctional, tailored as a mission specific force
  • At 5 - 30 days graduated readiness
  • Readiness in line with NRF
  • Structure will be pre-determined; not "one size fits all"; configured & equipped to deploy quickly; provide initial entry NBC capability
  • Consistent with and complements NRF; use NRF mechanisms; provide the NBC capabilities required by the NRF
  • Supported by, but separate to, High Readiness Force (HRF) NBC battalions; based on lead nation concept with functional capabilities provided by nations
  • A Combined/Joint Force asset; contributes to operations throughout Joint Operations Area (JOA); (appropriate Command and Control (C2), arrangements still to be developed)

The battalion will be capable of conducting following tasks:

  • Conduct deployment operationsµ
  • Command and Control NBC defence units
  • Conduct NBC reconnaissance operations
  • Conduct decontamination operations
  • Conduct biological detection and monitoring operations
  • Provide NBC assessment and advice to NATO commanders
  • Provide confirmatory identification of NBC substances
  • Plan, coordinate and conduct sustainment operations of the battalion
  • Force protect the battalion

Linkage to NRF:

  • The battalion provides NBC defence capabilities for NRF (or separate if required)
  • A joint asset that supports all components in NRF as required
  • Integrated into Combined Joint Statement of Requirement (CJSOR) for NRF 3 and beyond
  • NRF Land Component HQ will be responsible for overseeing training and reporting readiness

The development of the battalion is on track and progressing well, even though some challenges remain, especially in the areas of Command and Control, logistic support, Communication Information System (CIS) support and movement.

Responsibilities in developing the battalion:

  • SHAPE - develop concept; lead for CONOPS; develop Statement of Requirement (SOR) and incorporate it into NRF CJSOR; conduct Force Generation; determine readiness levels and Command and Control arrangements
  • ACT - support SHAPE with evaluation standards; support training and evaluation program; determine future NBC defence requirements and develop enhancing doctrine
  • JFC - exercise Command and Control of the battalion; integrate the battalion into NRF training program; support planning and battalion development; conduct collective training oversight and certification
  • LEAD NATION - Command and Control and support for battalion component assets; coordinate with nations to organise and create the battalion: implement and maintain Standing Operational Procedures (SOPs) and deployment readiness standards; verify Level I training and plan / conduct Level II in coordination with JFC Component Command
  • CONTRIBUTING NATIONS - provide functional component assets with requisite manning, equipment & Level I training; provide national logistic support to allocated assets

Composition of the battalion:

  • Battalion HQ
  • HQ and Support Company
  • Reconnaissance Company and HQ
  • Decontamination Company and HQ
  • Point BW Detection Company and HQ
  • Deployable Laboratories and HQ
  • Joint Assessment Team (JAT)
  • Medical Detachment

During the seven months after achieving the IOC the battalion will train and prepare to reach full operational capability (FOC) by 1 July 2004, On that day the Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion will become a part of the 3rd rotation of the NRF.

The successfiil establishment of the Multinational CBRN Defence Battalion, as well as the NRF, will make the Alliance even more capable of facing new threats of the changed security environment. Our ability to achieve that goal will be seen as a token of our resolve and commitment to success of Alliance's transformation and efforts to improve our collective security.

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