Reservists help in-flight Baby deliveries during Afghanistan Evacuations

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Two separate Air Force Reserve Command airlift wings successfully evacuated hundreds of Americans and allies during the early days of the Afghanistan evacuation operation … and each landed with one more passenger than was manifested.

By: Capt. Christina Judd, Air Force Reserve Command Headquarters/CIOR Public Affairs

(First published by www.afrc.af.mil, Aug. 30th. Subtitles added by CIOR.)

The 315th Airlift Wing from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and the 445th AW from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, were both mobilized in support of Operation Allies Refuge alongside other U.S. and allied military organizations after the fall of Kabul Aug. 15.

On Aug. 23, a Reserve crew from the 315th AW’s 701st Airlift Squadron was waiting to land its C-17 Globemaster III at a Middle East staging area when crew members became concerned about a female passenger.

Baby girl

Tech. Sgt. Leah Schmidt, 701st AS loadmaster, and Capt. Leslie Green, 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, used their professional Air Force training to help deliver a baby girl. Green said it was her first full delivery, but it wasn’t as hard as she expected.

Airmen assigned to the 86th Medical Group provide postpartum care to the Afghan mother who gave birth aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, call sign Reach 828, with the aid of U.S. Army Captain Erin Brymer, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center registered nurse, upon landing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 21. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Edgar Grimaldo)

“The hard part, she did by herself,” Green said of the Afghan woman whose healthy daughter arrived minutes before landing. “The baby was perfect. She was a little bit small, definitely didn’t make it to full term, but she came out crying. She seemed to be doing well in this world.”

Named “Reach” after call sign

A couple of days prior, on Aug. 21, another baby girl was born in the cargo bay of a 445th AW C-17 on its way from Qatar to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, while a group of female evacuees held up their shawls to protect the Afghan mother’s privacy. The baby girl’s parents named their daughter “Reach,” after the aircraft’s call sign (Reach 828).

Reach 828 had departed from an intermediate staging area in Qatar with a planeload of evacuees when the Afghan mother went into labor and began having complications.

“The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” Air Mobility Command said via Twitter.

“So that child’s name will forever be Reach,” Gen. Tod Wolters, U.S. European Command commander, said during a news briefing Aug. 25. “And as you can well imagine, being an Air Force fighter pilot, it’s my dream to watch that young child called Reach grow up and be a U.S. citizen and fly United States Air Force fighters in our Air Force.”

Defense officials did not provide identifying details about the family due to safety concerns, and the mother’s face was digitally obscured in photos the Air Force shared of Airmen with the 86th Medical Group at Ramstein assisting her off the aircraft.

– Rapid and selfless response

“I’ve witnessed the rapid and selfless response of our Citizen Airmen to world events repeatedly over the years, but am no less inspired each time,” said Col. Michael Baker, 445th AW Operations Group commander.

Both Reserve wings assisted in the evacuation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other vulnerable Afghans, transporting them out of Afghanistan as quickly and safely as possible in one of the largest airlift missions in history. Several more babies have been born while evacuees continue to leave the country.

Temporary safe havens

Evacuees are being taken to temporary safe haven locations across Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, four military installations in the United States, as well as Washington Dulles International Airport, are also now receiving evacuees, according to Pentagon officials.

A newborn baby is being looked after prior to being taken off a C-17 Globemaster III, Aug. 23, at a Middle East staging area. A 315th Airlift Wing aircrew from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina helped to deliver a baby aboard a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III carrying vulnerable Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan moments before landing at a Middle East staging area. Capt. Leslie Green, 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, was part of the mission crew and she helped deliver the baby. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

(The author was temporarily assigned to the Headquarters AFRC Public Affairs Office when she wrote this article.)

 

US Air Force Reserve supports one of the largest Airlift Operations in History

Reserve Citizen Airmen are playing a huge role in what is being described by senior U.S. government officials as one of the largest airlift operations in history, as Airmen are supporting the evacuation of thousands of people from Afghanistan.

By: Jon Quinlan, HQ Air Force Reserve Command

(First posted on www.afrc.af.mil)

The Defense Department is getting American citizens, Afghans with special immigrant visa applications in process and other vulnerable Afghans out of the country. This will continue to be the No. 1 priority right up until the very end, according to Pentagon Press Secretary, John F. Kirby.

A Reserve Citizen Airman from the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California, board a C-17 Globemaster III prior to a mission supporting the Afghanistan evacuation, Aug. 24th. The 349th AMW is providing rapid global mobility to assist the U.S. State Department in the safe evacuation of Americans and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jose B. Aquilizan)

Air Force Reserve Command Airmen are contributing to the total force evacuation effort operating 17 aircraft to include, C-17 Globemaster III’s, C-130 Hercules, C-5M Super Galaxy’s, and KC-10 Extender with 73 aircrews and hundreds of maintenance, security, medical and support personnel.

These Airmen were activated to ensure safe passage of Americans and Afghan allies from Kabul to locations throughout the globe.

In many cases, Air Force Reserve Airmen are blended into Total Force crews, mixing active duty, Guard and Reserve.

“The United States is the only nation capable of rapidly deploying forces to provide nonstop airlift operations at this scale. It would not be possible without the support of our Total Force—active, guard and Reserve Citizen Airmen—seamlessing integrating to execute the mission” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, AFRC commander and Chief of the Air Force Reserve.

“Once again, our Air Force Reservists are proudly answering our nation’s call, responding in less than 24 hours. I’m overwhelmed with pride as all of our Service men and women take care of Americans, our allies and vulnerable Afghans.”

“Once again, our Air Force Reservists are proudly answering our nation’s call (…)”

Reserve Citizen Airmen and aircraft from multiple units around the U.S. are contributing, including, but not limited to: the 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; the 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; 908th Airlift Wing, Maxwell AFB, Alabama; 349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, California; 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania; 452 Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California and more.

Air reserve component count for nearly 60% of mobility capacity

“Nearly 60% of our mobility capacity resides in the air reserve component, underscoring the importance of a Total Force approach,” said Col Mark Villacis, HQ AFRC, Chief of Mobility Operations Division (A3M). “An airlift operation of this historic magnitude can only be executed with Total Force Integration.”

“The partnership between Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve is key to lifesaving Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) under extreme conditions we are experiencing in Kabul Afghanistan.”

A child looks at the aircraft as he is strolled towards his flight during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 24th. Reserve Citizen Airmen are playing a huge role in what is being described by senior U.S. government officials as one of the largest airlift operations in history. The C-17 Globemaster III aircraft were operated by crews from the 315th Airlift Wing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz).
A U.S. Air Force security forces raven and Reserve Airmen assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, maintain a security cordon around a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen)

About 88,000 American citizens, civilian allies, Afghan special immigrant visa applicants and other vulnerable Afghans have been taken out of harm’s way since Aug. 14, Army Maj. Gen. William D. “Hank” Taylor, the Joint Staff’s deputy director for regional operations, said at a Pentagon briefing.

During a 24-hour period Aug. 24, he said 42 U.S. military aircraft departed Kabul with 11,200 people and coalition and allied partners flew 7,800 people to safety. Another 10,000 people were at the airport awaiting departure.

A total of 88.000 people evacuated in one week

“88,000 in the course of just a week, a week and a half is no small feat,” Kirby said.

Additionally, on two separate AFRC C-17 air evacuation sorties out of Kabul, the crews assisted in the delivery of two Afghan babies in flight before touching down at coalition airbases. One baby was named ‘Reach’ after the aircraft call sign.

Aircrews from the 315th AW, 445th AW and a flight nurse from the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron helped in the deliveries along with ground and medical personnel at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar and Ramstein AB, Germany.

Part-time force – full-time support

The Air Force Reserve is a predominantly part-time force which, when mobilized, provides full-time support to the Joint Force. In addition to its daily contributions to global operations, it provides rapid surge capability and strategic depth for national defense.

U.S. Air Force loadmasters and pilots assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, load passengers aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Afghanistan, Aug. 24th, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen)

 

NATO Military Committee: – Fighting for what you believe in, is never in vain

A message from the NATO Military Committee to all Allied and Partner troops who have served in Afghanistan:

Dear troops from Allied and Partner countries who have served in the NATO missions in Afghanistan. This morning, the NATO Military Committee convened to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.

The speed of the collapse of the Afghan security forces and government has created a heated debate in our Armed Forces and in our societies. Your sacrifices there make this a matter very close to our hearts.

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, admiral Rob Bauer, Royal Netherlands Navy. Screenshot from a video address on the current situation in Afghanistan.

Many are asking: was it worth it? Were our efforts in vain? The answers to these questions are deeply personal. But, on behalf of the Military Committee, I would like to say to you all: that fighting for what you believe in, is never in vain. Doing what your democratic governments have asked you to do and fulfilling the role that was enshrined in our constitutions, is never in vain.

Around one million of our men and women in uniform served in Afghanistan. Leaving behind their loved ones to help build a better future for the people there.

Putting your life in the service of freedom has much to offer. But it can  – and has – also led to scars. Physical or mental. There are families that are coping with tremendous loss.

For those who are struggling: please reach out to a buddy or a veteran organisation to get the help you need and very much deserve.

To all of you, I say: Your service in Afghanistan has irreversibly changed the country. Just as it has irreversibly changed you.

The individual sacrifice you made should never be taken for granted.

Thank you.

Taliban on top: fighters stand guard on a captured US Humvee in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021. Credit: Rahmat Gul/AP.

 

Job well done: Digital Summer Congress a Success!

The first 100% digital Summer Congress of CIOR was successfully concluded Sunday, with a lot of compliments from national delegations to the German-led Presidency. The entire agenda was adressed and discussed during the limited two-day timeframe, and all required decisions made by Council.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

More than 70 delegates and supporting staff were logged on throughout the two-day event, alongside committee chairs and other participants. During the Symposium on Saturday there were actually almost twice as many as this, around 130 people, logged on.

“BZ”

The digital meeting format works well for the CIOR Council. Also on the second day over 70 participants were logged on.

The timetable was well managed, and only a few minutes over the estimated end-time for Council deliberations, President Jan Hörmann, Captain (R) German Navy, could thank heads of delegations for a job well done. Or (Bravo Zulu, normally abbreviated to ”BZ”, an old navy expression signalling thumbs up) as he probably would have preferred to put it.

Efficient and effective

Council meetings in CIOR have a reputation for being quite ”wordy”. Discussions have traditionally been very long. However, this has changed a lot with recent years’ streamlining and efficiency reforms. Digital meetings have contributed further to this change, which most will say is an improvement.

Day 2 of the Council meetings started with committee chairs’ reports to Council. It was an uplifting exercise, and a show of force in agility and adaptability.

Impressive committee work

Screenshot from the CIMIC exercise (CIMEX) presentation by the chairperson, Major (R) Zoe Stewart, UK Army.

Very succesful events have been carried out under the limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic: The CIOR Seminar last February; more recently the Young Reserve Officer Workshop (YROS); and CIOR Language Academy (CLA) that carried out a very impressive Mobile Training Team (MTT) deployment during a difficult period; and, closest to the Summer Congress, the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) exercise CIMEX and the partly decentralised military skills competition (MILCOMP).

Also the other committees that do not run an external activity, have performed remarkably well during the pandemic: Legal, Defence Attitudes and Security Issues/ DEFSEC, Cyber and Outreach.

The nexy point on the agenda was dedicated to future summer congresses and precidencies.

Future summer congresses

The plan is that Greece will host the 2022 Summer Congress (regular, with physical attendance), followed by Finland in 2023 and Estonia in 2024. With regard to future leadership, less is confirmed – but options are on the table. Firstly, Estonia takes over from Germany in the summer of 2022 and will be in charge for the next two years.

Forward leaning on information technology

CIOR has also become a forward leaning organisation with regard to IT, be it the public website and social media, or intranet and information management. A plan for staying abreast of the developments in this are was dedicated a separate presentation towards the end of the day, as part of the Strategic Foresight updates.

The German-led CIOR Presidency, with the CIOR President, Captain (R) German Navy, Jan Hörmann, front and left.

Virtual Summer Congress kicked off

The first ever fully virtual Summer Congress in CIOR started with an inspirational keynote speech from Rear Admiral Ralf Kuchler, German Navy, to set the tone – before the President moved to more ordinary agenda points like the budget plan for the next fiscal year.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

Last year’s Summer Congress had been cancelled at the planned venue in Ghent, Belgium, before Estonia offered to hold a ‘Late Summer Congress’ in Tallinn. That one was hybrid, meaning that quite a few delegates and committee chairs were on site, whilst the majority was online – taking part in the discussions via the Internet.

This time, the only people physically in the same room were the current German Presidency, which actually were gathered for the very first time since they took over from the British Presidency last fall. All the other about 70 participants called in via the video tele conference tool that so many of us have been familiarised with over the last year and a half – “Zoom”.

North Macedonia confirmed

The discussion on finances was followed by an update on the enrollments for the Non-Profit Organisation CIOR has moved to be, the new membership of North Macedonia, which later was confirmed by Council, and adjustments to the CIOR constitution/by-laws.

Symposium shared Best Practices

The symposium this time was a 90 minutes embedded event consisting of two lectures:

Wing Commander Graham Banks, Royal Air Force, lectured on Best Practices in use of Reservists during the pandemic. (Photo: Squadron Leader (R) Robin Wilkinson, Royal Air Force.)
  • How various countries have been using their Reserve Forces during the pandemic, and;
  • Sharing ideas about future preparation on Reserves to increase national resilience and readiness

The content of these two lectures will be shared later.

Future Meetings

The day was rounded off with an outlook to future meetings. The first one, the fall IBM (“in-between-meeting”) with Council and committee chairs, will – if possible at all, be held as a physical meeting in Berlin 28-31 October.

The next one after that will be the Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM) at NATO Headquarters some time during the second half of January – and the venue for the spring IBM is planned for Wilhelmshaven on Germany’s North Sea Coast. The latter event is planned for April or May. Finally, Greece has offered to host the Summer Congress of 2022 in Athens, in lieu of this year’s cancellation.

However, before all that, there’s another day left of the virtual Summer Congress 2021.

 

 

 

For the first time, Romanian volunteer Reservists train with US Reserves.

Between 1 and 7 August, joint training of reservists from Romania and the US takes place at the Land Forces Academy “Nicolae Bălcescu” in Sibiu, Romania.

This is the first large scale mission dedicated to Romanian volunteer reservists, and the first time they take part in a military capacity together with a NATO ally.

The training is based on the CIOR Military Competition (MILCOMP) format.

File photo: US competitors on the CISM-standard obstacle course in Tallinn, Estonia, 2019. (Sgt. Apolonia Gaspar.)

– An important selection stage

Due to the pandemic, the competition in its standard form has been suspended in 2020 and 2021, but it is expected to be arranged next year, in Athens. Romania plans to compete in MILCOMP 2022, and the August training is regarded as an important selection stage.

In addition, working with the more experienced American team can provide an important competitive advantage.

“Working with the more experienced American team can provide an important competitive advantage.”

The 53 participants will train on a CISM (International Military Sports Council) obstacle course, in utility swimming, rifle and pistol shooting, handgrenade throwing, marching and orienteering.

The program also includes a series of combat lifesaver courses, teaching elements of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC).

The event takes place with the support of the Romanian Defence Staff, the Staff of the Land Forces, the Staff of the Air Force, and the Joint Logistics Command – with the approval of the Ministry of Defence.

All regions of Romania

Volunteer reservists from all regions of Romania and various branches of arms and specialties take part, together with representatives of the Romanian Reserve Officers Association (AORR) and staff from the “Nicolae Bălcescu” Land Forces Academy, the Training Center for Land and Anti-Aircraft Artilery “Ioan Vodă” Sibiu, and the Training Center for Moutain Light Infantry ,,Bucegi” in Predeal.

Reserve Officer Association Essential for Coordination

The involvement of AORR has been essential for adopting the competition format and coordinating with decision makers.

 

MILCOMP 2021 explained

The military skills competition is a core activity of CIOR. This pandemic year is a bit special, in that formally there’s no central contest – but rather local events run in parallell in the various participating nations. Yet, ten of the nations have still chosen to meet in Finland to compete there. In other words, a hybrid solution.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

– Through national, bilateral, and multinational gatherings, the CIOR Military Competition Committee is demonstrating resilience, fortitude, and the will to prevail over Covid-19, says committee secretary, Grant Staats, Captain (Ret)/USN(SEAL)

All competitors that are gathered in Lahti, Finland, for the 2021 CIOR military skills competition.

While adhering to national, governmental guidelines about the pandemic, MILCOMP participants are conducting advanced military skills training and competitions to raise awareness of Reserve Forces and the CIOR program.

– In this effort we hope to achieve confidence and support from the people and societies we protect, that Reservists can adapt to any threat, in any environment, and actively train and fight to accomplish their missions and tasks, Staats says.

Military competition secretary, Grant Staats CAPT (Ret)/USN(SEAL) Grant Staats in action during an orienteering competition. File photo By D. Keith Johnson, U.S. Navy Reserve/DVIDS.

As a testament to this achievement, MILCOMP has captured recent activities in the form of videos, other imagery, interviews and reports – like the ones we have posted the last couple of days.

– These multimedia products clearly demonstrate that MILCOMP Reservists are the best in the world at rifle and pistol shooting, grenade throwing, and in fitness and agility – on land and water obstacle courses.

– Additionally they acquire great skills in technical problem solving in the disciplines of land navigation, map and compass orienteering and range estimation. Finally they need to prove that they also master combat casualty care [first aid].

– Each of these areas is critical to a soldier’s ability to fight and win against any adversary, in any situation. MILCOMP soldiers constitute a mentally tough and resilient combat-ready force, Grant Staats convincingly explains.

CAPT Grant Staats (Ret)/USN(SEAL) together with chairman of the MILCOMP committee, MAJ (R), Danish Army, Kim Åge Nielsen Birkerød. Photo: Private.

Getting ready for MILCOMP!

An important event during the CIOR Summer Congress is the military skills competition. All participating nations take MILCOMP very seriously, and train for months to be the best they can be for their team in this friendly annual contest.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

From the US we have picked up this report, on their team’s preparations:

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Senior Airman Trevor Thompson, 67th Aerial Port Squadron, is one of 10 reservists selected to represent the United States in the 2021 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers Military Skills Competition held in Finland beginning July 30.

Senior Airman Trevor Thompson, a reservist in the 67th Aerial Port Squadron, navigates under an obstacle on the land obstacle course at Camp Johnson, Vermont as part of the team selection and training event for the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers military competition July 20. Ten service members from the U.S. Army and Air Force reserve components trained in Vermont to prepare for the CIOR MILCOMP, an annual competition among NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. (U.S. Army photo/Calvin Reimold)

The three-day competition consists of pistol and rifle shooting, various obstacle courses, and land navigation that includes range estimation, map reading, and hand grenade throwing.

The event tests and trains reservists in various branches of the military from across the world, and participants are chosen based on physical fitness test scores, marksmanship abilities, and overall fitness standards.

The competition is designed to foster camaraderie between allied nations and encourage participants to take their knowledge back to their home units.

CIMEX 2021 only a week away!

The announcement of the CIOR Summer Congress also signals the coming of the annual CIMIC (Civil-Military Cooperation) exercise, CIMEX. This year’s theme should be particularly interesting and highly relevant, so hurry and sign up, says CIMIC Chair, Major Zoe Stewart (R), UK Army.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

-On behalf of CIOR’s CIMIC Committee, I would like to warmly welcome you to this year’s exercise, says Major Stewart.

CIOR CIMIC Chair, Major Zoe Stewart (R), UK Army.

Major Stewart is new to the role as CIMIC Chair, and full of energy and drive – eager to drum up support for the exercise, which takes place in less than a week from today: Saturday July 31st and Sunday August 1st.

”How do CIMIC reservists support resilience in the fight against a pandemic and associated resilience challenges?” is the fitting theme for this year’s CIMEX, as the cover photo of the programme indicates.

No prior knowledge required

No specific preparation is required to attend the CIMEX, nor any prior knowledge of CIMIC. You do not even have to be a CIMIC officer to participate. It has been designed as a self-contained learning experience.

Free of charge

The organisers hope the digital format this year – and hence no face-to-face interaction and socialising – won’t stop would-be parttakers from signing up. By the way: Participation in the event is completely free of charge.

Resilience

– This year we have chosen a theme that aligns with the overall theme of the CIOR Presidency: “Resilience of our Reservists”. Hence, we will be exploring the role of CIMIC reserve officers in supporting governments in civil preparedness, the preparation for a crisis.

– More specifically, this exercise will be built around how a CIMIC reserve officer can support during a pandemic – and build resilience, Stewart says.

– This is very pertinent when we consider the number and variety of crises currently happening around the world – like Covid-19, significant heat waves, horrendous fires and flooding.

From the CIMIC exercise (CIMEX) that took place in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2019.

– Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s CIMEX will be online, but despite this, we have a varied and diverse programme that we hope participants will find engaging and valuable, says Major Stewart.

CIMIC explained

From CIMEX 2019, in Tallinn, Estonia.

A high-level explanation of CIMIC and Civil Preparedness has been provided in the context of the exercise with the intent of helping participants to understand what they will be learning and participating in during the two-day event.

Therefore, the exercise should be a valuable pedagogic introduction to this particular military discipline, where operators have one foot in the military world and the other foot in the civilian world.

Each year, the CIOR CIMIC Committee delivers a CIMEX on behalf of CIOR; it is a recognised NATO exercise.

The overall purpose of CIMEX:

  1. To provide an opportunity for reserve officers from the different nations that constitute CIOR, to meet and form relationships.
  2. To provide the opportunity to learn and share experience as CIMIC reserve officers.
From the CIMEX that took place in Tallinn, Estonia in 2020.

– Note that by participating you will gain some value in attending and on completion have a basis to start preparing for attendance at the next CIMEX planned for 2022. That will be an on-site, physical exercise either in Greece or in Belgium, major Stewart points out.

So, by participating this year, you will be ahead of the game for next year’s CIMEX, which will be held during a traditional, physical Summer Congress – probably in Athens, Greece.

Click here for the detailed programme of this year’s exercise and instructions on how to sign up!

IBM in Cyberspace

The CIOR Council, the organisation’s executive body, and its committee leads, last weekend met in cyberspace for the spring version of the twice-annual In-Between-Meeting (IBM). The chairman of NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) also participated.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

The VIBM (Virtual IBM), led by CIOR’s President Jan Hörmann, Captain of the German Navy (R), focused on keeping the organisation afloat during the still-ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Special emphasis was on continued committee work, finances, future presidencies – which change every other year – and the next summer congresses.

Near half of the roughly 60 participants at the CIOR IBM at the end of May. The meeting was entirely digital. President Jan Hörmann can be seen in the upper left corner. Screenshot: Roy Thorvaldsen.

Estonia will take over the Presidency from Germany in just over a year, with either The Netherlands or the USA to follow suit in 2024 – and then perhaps Denmark, supported by the other Nordic countries.

Representatives of the next, Estonian CIOR Presidency listening carefully at IBM deliberations from their office in Tallinn. Screenshot: Roy Thorvaldsen.

The plan for future Summer Congresses includes Athens, Greece in 2022, Finland in 2023 and Estonia in 2024.

Anniversary Planning

Next year is also the 75th Anniversary of CIOR, and plans are well under way to celebrate in style. This includes design of an anniversary edition of CIOR’s medal of merit, a commemorative coin and a coffee table book – displaying highlights of the reserve confederation’s existence.

Promotion of all member nations’ reserve officer models on CIOR’s website was also discussed.

NRFC seeks cooperation

The chairman of the NRFC, Rear Admiral Michael H. Busse of the German Navy, briefed the IBM participants on the status of current program of work, and elaborated on plans ahead – with special emphasis on Cyber, where a cooperation with CIOR is desired, he said.

Greek head of delegation, Major (R), Dr. Philippos Kostaras, informing IBM participants of plans for next year’s summer congress in Athens. Screenshot: Roy Thorvaldsen.

The Republic of North Macedonia has applied for full membership of

CIOR, and is likely to be taken on board at the Summer Congress (SC), also fully digital this year. The dates for the ’cyber SC’ are August 7th and 8th.

The next IBM is scheduled to take place in Berlin at the end of Oct

ober – as the first physical meeting in one year and nine months. That is something a lot of people in the organisation is longing for.

Socialising and cultivating friendship and camaraderie in a military context, is a lot of what CIOR is about for most participants.

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