11 Jan 2007

PR# 2007-036

Tripartite commission holds 20th plenary meeting in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Tripartite Commission, comprising senior military representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, held its 20th Plenary Meeting in Islamabad today, today.

The senior delegates were General Bismullah Khan, Chief of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army; General Ahsan Saleem Hyat, Vice Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army; and General David Richards, Commander of ISAF.

After introductory remarks and welcomes, the 20th Plenary began with reports from the Border Security Sub Committee, the Military Intelligence Sharing Working Group and the Counter-IED Working Group.

In spite of bad weather since November hindering some travel arrangements, one Regional Border Security Sub Meeting (BSSM) was held in December, and Border Flag Meetings have continued thereby further developing coordination at the tactical level. Further BSSMs are scheduled for the coming month. The main focus for these will be the detailed coordination of current operations related to Operation OQAB (the successful joint Afghan Army / ISAF Afghanistan-wide security operation being conducted throughout the winter months in order to facilitate reconstruction and development) and the planning for Spring operations based on the direction and guidance of the newly formed Operational Coordination Group (OCG).

The Military Intelligence-Sharing Working Group (MISWG) has focused on the technical details of providing intelligence support to the OCG and has also examined the responsibilities and procedures of the new Joint Intelligence Operations Centre (JIOC), defining the shared area of intelligence responsibility and developing procedures for communications and information exchange. The new building for this JIOC, located within HQ ISAF in Kabul, is now complete and has achieved an interim operating capability, and a number of Pakistan Army officers are about to move to Kabul to work alongside their ANA and ISAF colleagues. The JIOC will achieve full operating capability in April once further ISAF manpower arrives.

The Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Working Group has made real progress in the arena of information exchange, which has resulted in significant operational successes and the saving of numerous Afghan civilian lives. The Group is now considering information operations in relation to C-IED progress. Later this month delegates will meet at Bagram Air Field to tour the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell (CEXC) and discuss blast site preservation techniques. At the end of the month the C-IED Working Group will meet in Pakistan to further their cooperation.

The opportunity presented by so many experts being gathered together enabled four ‘break out’ groups to convene. The OCG agreed its outline Terms of Reference and considered planning for Spring operations. Other groups discussed intelligence, IED and information operations.

At the conclusion of the meeting a Press Conference was held to announce the real progress made by this military to military Commission and its working groups.

The Tripartite Commission will next meet in late April 2007 also in Islamabad.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/