Updated: 12-Apr-2005 IMS Press Advisory

12 April 2005

NATO’s Allied Command Transformation holds official signing ceremonies for new Centre of Excellence and Joint Forces Training Centre

NATOs transformation in focus

NORFOLK, Virginia--Allied Command Transformation (ACT), one of NATO’s two strategic commands, will conduct two official signing ceremonies at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 13 April.

The first ceremony, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), will establish the legal framework for the Joint Forces Training Centre (JFTC), located in Bydogszcz, Poland. This event is a significant milestone in the development the JFTC and culminates months of work by ACT, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Poland and JFTC’s staff. Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, U.S. Navy Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., and Polish Deputy Minister of Defense Janusz Zemke will sign the MOA.

This signing ceremony will bring JFTC closer to meeting its Full Operational Capability date of June 30, 2006. When fully operational, the Centre will have a distinct and unique role in focusing on joint and combined training at the tactical level. In particular, it will focus on the conduct of joint tactical training to achieve joint tactical interoperability at the key tactical interfaces—one of the critical areas of the weakness identified in the Iraqi campaign.

The second ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will initiate the functional relationship between headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and the Belgium-Netherlands Naval Mine Warfare School (EGUERMIN), located in Oostende, Belgium. This School, staffed with approximately 50 multinational military and civilian personnel, assumes the lead for NATO’s Naval Mine Warfare (NMW) education and training. SACT and military representatives Belgian Army Lieutenant General Hendrik Jennart and Royal Netherlands Air Force Lieutenant General Jo Goddery will sign the MOU.

EGUERMIN, translated as School of War for Mines, proposes to train individuals and crews on mine counter measure ships in NMW, advise and assist national and NATO commands and provide subject matter expertise representation in NATO NMW. They currently have international relationships with Netherlands-Belgium OPSCHOOL and Belgian Defence College; Naval Tactical and Weapons Training School, Copenhagen, Denmark; Naval Training Establishment, Haakonsvern, Norway; Naval Mine Warfare School, Ingleside, Texas; Maritime Tactical School, Dryad, United Kingdom and Marineoperationsschule, Bremerhafen, Germany.

NOTE TO MEDIA: for additional information, contact NATO HQ Military Staff Public Information Advisor Lt. Col. Hans Peter Buch at 0 032 2 707 5983 or 5423. More information about the Joint Forces Training Centre (JFTC) is available at the webpage http://www.act.nato.int/organization/jftc.htm and information about EGUERMIN is available at the webpage http://www.eguermin.org.

More information about NATO can be found at www.nato.int. More information about ACT can be found at www.act.nato.int.


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