Nato-Russia Council

Chiefs of Defence approve 2014 Military Work Plan

NATO-Russia Council Chiefs of Defence Staff 2014-01-22Left and right: General Stefan Danila (Chief of Defence, Romania) shaking hands with General Valery Gerasimov (Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation).

The 29 Chiefs of Defence of NATO-Russia Council nations approved the NRC Military Representative’s Work Plan for 2014 during their meeting on 22 January. The work plan contains a number of concrete activities through which military personnel from NRC nations will work together on common security challenges.

Key areas of cooperation in 2014 will include continuing the fight against piracy and terrorism, search and rescue at sea, as well as increasing the work done together on the important topic of providing medical care for the military, building on the work done in 2013.

Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, Colonel General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, took the opportunity to brief on the Joint Exercise of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, ZAPAD 2013.

Chiefs of Defence were given an update on other activities taking place through the NRC framework. A briefing on the NRC’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative highlighted the importance of this NRC counter terrorism system, which aims to detect and respond to hijacked civilian aircraft. Its operational value was successfully put to the test earlier last year during the live flying exercise ‘Vigilant Skies 2013’, where Russian and Polish, and then Russian and Turkish fighter jets worked together to escort a ‘hijacked’ plane to safety once the threat had been identified by CAI controllers in Norway, Poland, Russia and Turkey.

NRC cooperation on Afghanistan was another key issue addressed during the meeting, and Chiefs of Defence were given a briefing on the implementation of the NRC’s Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund. The fund provides training for Afghan Air Force (AAF) helicopter technicians and spare parts identified as crucial requirements. The Chiefs of Defence were also given an assessment by ISAF Headquarters on the important contribution the NRC Trust Fund is making to the AAF and its capacity to maintain their vital fleet of helicopters, in particular in the context of the lead up to the end of 2014.