Updated: 21-Nov-2001 Week of 8-14 November 2000

8 Nov. 2000
Annual meeting of the Military Committee
NATO's highest military authority, the Military Committee, met for its two-day annual meeting at NATO HQ on 8 and 9 November. Four separate meetings took place: that of the Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODS) from NATO member countries, the meeting of NATO members with their partners within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Military Council (EAPMC), a NATO-Russia meeting and a NATO-Ukraine meeting.

During these meetings, participants took stock of progress made in regular activities such as operations in the Balkans, cooperation with partners, peace support exercises, and more specific issues such as defence reform in Ukraine and the decision to pass from conscription to professional forces. Two key items emerged from these meetings: the development of high readiness forces for the Alliance (CHODS meeting) and growing cooperation between NATO and Russia in search and rescue at sea (NATO-Russia meeting).

  • High readiness forces: after the review of NATO military command structures last year, the need to develop a new force structure was discussed by Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODS). The aim is to provide a minimum contingent capable of full flexibility during an article V or non article V crisis (1). In addition to the creation of a high readiness corps, this in-depth reform would necessitate the creation of readily deployable headquarters. At present, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps is the only headquarters with a high readiness status. The estimated number needed has been set at nine.

    During the CHODS meeting, a consensus was reached on the selection criteria these headquarters would need to meet. The next step is to set a range of options, which would determine a mix of graduated readiness headquarters and to agree on the final selection process for the nine headquarters before the meeting of Defence Ministers in December 2000. Member countries have already started suggesting potential contributors, which would be taken from existing NATO Commands.

  • Search and Rescue at Sea: during the NATO-Russia meeting, participants exchanged information on search and rescue operations at sea. This built on the very positive fact-finding meeting held on 3 November when Russia and NATO members put forward proposals for concrete cooperative activities in this field. The Russians, for instance, stressed the need to develop submarine-related escape, search and rescue exercises and the need to meet NATO standards for communications and other equipment necessary for such operations. These were just some of the proposals suggested by the Russians, which converged with those envisaged by NATO. NATO members stressed that they had the expertise and infrastructure to support these suggestions. Further discussions on possible developments in this area are planned for the Defence Ministers' meeting in December.

Additional information:

1. Article V of NATO's founding treaty stipulates that an armed attack against one or more members will be considered an attack against them all.

9 Nov. 2000
George Soros visits NATO HQ

The benefactor and creator of a world-wide network of foundations, George Soros, came to NATO HQ on 9 November to discuss efforts to strengthen democratic society in South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In the past, the Mr Soros' Open Society Institute and NATO have combined resources for joint projects, for instance in Georgia and for an intern programme at NATO. Lord Robertson and Mr Soros discussed future cooperation and the possibility of pursuing further joint projects.

Additional information:

9 Nov. 2000
Conference raises problem of blood during crises
Representatives from NATO and partner countries, as well as Mediterranean Dialogue countries, met in Washington on 9-10 November to exchange information and discuss problems that arise from blood availability and utilisation during military contingencies and civil emergencies. Participants discussed issues such as the management of blood stocks on the battlefield, during natural disasters, in the Balkans, the problem of transfusion transmitted diseases during emergencies and blood supplies in the future. This is the sixth Blood Conference organised by NATO.
9 Nov. 2000
NATO-EU meeting

Lord Robertson gives a press conference after the meeting of the North Atlantic Council -NATO's highest decision-making body- and the interim Political and Security Committee of the European Union (iPSC) at NATO HQ on 9 November. This is the second NATO-EU meeting to be held at Ambassadorial level to discuss security cooperation between the two organisations.

Additional information:

10 Nov. 2000
Yugoslavia is admitted to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as the 55th participating State.
11 Nov. 2000
General elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina result in significant gains for nationalist parties in all three ethnic groups.
13 Nov. 2000
The Council of Ministers of the Western European Union (WEU), meeting in Marseilles, takes decisions relating to the transfer of the WEU’s operational functions to the European Union and arrangements for the WEU’s residual
functions and structures.
14 Nov. 2000
Cooperation with Partners on Air Defence
A practical air loading test programme was conducted, 14-15 November, at the Italian airbase in Villafranca, involving Italian and Ukrainian forces. At this airbase, near the historic city of Verona, a Ukrainian Illuyshin-76 flew in to conduct an air loading test with an Italian surface-to-air missile system, SPADA.

As early as 1993, a shortfall in Alliance strategic mobility capabilities was identified, particularly as far as some bulky air defence equipment is concerned. As air defence equipment can be expected to be employed very early in a conflict situation, e.g. to protect points of embarkation/debarkation, the flexibility of the airlift capability is particularly important. This airlift shortfall, which is also highlighted as a prominent Defence Capability Initiative issue, can be alleviated by Partner contributions in case of peace support and crisis response operations. Within this context, the Ukrainian/Italian load test successfully demonstrated that airlift operations between the Alliance and certain Partner nations can be envisaged for any future coalition operation.

During the test, Ukrainian Cargo Airways (UCA) carefully assessed the loading of a complete SPADA system and conducted a pre-test loading of the entire operational SPADA system on 14 November. This full system test was followed by a demonstration loading of selected SPADA elements, conducted in public, on 15 November 2000. Three loading techniques were demonstrated: 1) using the on-board winch to pull in the SPADA trailer mounted surveillance radar; 2) using the organic hoist with the on-board rails/crane system to load the radar control van; and 3) having the truck, with the missile launcher platform, drive in on its own power. All tests went smoothly, despite the short lead time provided, due to the high professional standards of the Italian 703 SPADA unit Team as well as the UCA IL-76 (UR-UCB) Team.

The test was organised by the NATO Air Defence Committee (NADC), within the framework of the Guidelines for Cooperation with Partners on Air Defence. The basic principle for carrying out this test was reciprocity. Both nations expanded significant effort and resources. They also gained valuable experience, which will be particularly relevant in any potential crisis situation.