The CIOR Presidency Message
Our first In between Meeting (IBM) this year took place in Bergen, Norway 7-9 April. We focused on the work to improve our output, based on the approved motion, and to work on the areas indicated by SACEUR in the Mid Winter Meeting in February in Brussels. In Bergen we also visited the HQ of the Royal Norwegian Navy at Haakonsvern Naval Base and were taken on board a frigate of the new Nansen class for briefings.
We enjoyed the support and hospitality of the Chief of the Navy, Rear Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen. When we have our October IBM in Bodoe we will meet the Admiral again in his new role as
CINC Norwegian Operational Forces with the rank of Vice Admiral.
Both of these issues will be on the agenda for our Summer Congress in Poland 2-6 August as well. I do hope all of you having the opportunity to attend will do so, and I am convinced you will face a splendid event organized by our Polish colleagues. The symposium has attracted high level speakers and the themes include transition in Afghanistan and Piracy.
The spring has included a CLA refresher course in Marseille, France and a meeting in the Gaminger Initiative in Budapest, Hungary, both events in April. In May our Czech friends arranged the 37. Liberty Cup in Vyskov with 200 participants from 6 countries Col Jahr attended the Gaminger initiative and the Liberty Cup, while I had the pleasure of attending the CLA resfresher course. When in Marseille I also had the opportunity to experience the Camerone Day of the French Foreign Legion in Aubagne on the invitation of the Commandant General de Brigade Bouquin.
In the security policy world the waves of protest in several countries in the Middle East, as well as the killing of Osama Bin Laden, have been on the headlines. NATO, based on a resolution in the Security Council, is engaged heavily in Libya. So far it has been changes in the leadership in Egypt and Tunisia, but the long term effect on the international situation remains to be seen. This includes the recent proposal by the President in US to establish a Palestinian State, in principal based on the borders from 1967, as well.
Most nations in Europe have for different reasons; economical included, left conscription and are now basing their defence on professional soldiers. Reality seems to be that the cost savings aspect versus numbers and sustainability can vary. NATO guidance is that you need five soldiers at home to in the long run have one soldier deployed on a mission. Hungary is now in process of establishing a reserve force of 6000 soldiers. This work can be useful for many other nations and will include legal issues, employer support, insurance, veteran policy etc.
The work in Poland is progressing. We have at this stage confirmed two 4 stars as and other leaders in their fields as speakers for the Symposium, the agenda for the Council is materializing and the Military Competition well prepared for the different competitions as well as the accommodation. More information is available on our website.
BEST WISHES TO YOU ALL, I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN WARSAW !