Spanish Reserve Association with Parliament seminar on NATO Reserves

Spain’s Reserve Forces Association FORE (Federación de Organizaciones de Reservistas de España) recently held a seminar in the Parliament in Madrid, on NATO’s Reserve Forces. The seminar was well attended by members of Parliament – amongst whom a substantial number are either serving or past members of Spain’s Armed Forces – and by the responsible people for the Reserve management of the Ministry of Defense and the Army.

The proceedings were opened by Pedro Argüelles Salaverría, a former member of the Spanish and European parliaments, former Vice Minister of Defense and President of the Asociación Atlántica Espanola. He stressed the ongoing need for Reservists.

Key-note speaker from NATO HQ

essing NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Ms. Carmen Romero, referring a question to CIOR President Colonel (Retd.) Chris Argent, UK Army during the Q&A session.

The key-note speaker was Ms. Carmen Romero, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, who gave a broad overview of current key issues in NATO. She briefed on the wide range of current threats to peace and security in the Alliance’s area of interest, and the challenges that come with emerging technologies falling into the “wrong hands”.

Ms Romero stressed that whilst there were, as always, tensions within the Alliance, all member nations agree that NATO is ’’better together’’ and remains a bulwark for peace in the free world.

Case studies

Four reservists, Florentien Braat from the Netherlands, John Carolan-Cullion from the UK, Ronny Vossen from Denmark and Francisco Muñoyerro from Spain then presented their own experiences on operational tours in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Afghanistan and Turkey – covering a wide spectrum of military skills and environments.

CIOR President, Colonel (Retd) Chris Argent UK Army addressing the seminar attendees.

 

ARRC with good Reservist experiences

Brigadier General Melchor Marin Elvira reported on the increasing role for Reservists both in training and on operations within the General Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) of NATO, and spoke positively of his experiences with Reservists as a valuable component in the Headquarters.

CIOR President in Q&A session

The Seminar concluded with a Question and Answer Session chaired by Luis Placencia, FORE President, which was joined by Colonel Chris Argent, President of CIOR, who in turn spoke of his own experiences over many years as a Reserve Infantry Officer in the UK Army.

Speakers and panelists at the Reserve Seminar in the Spanish Parliament, including CIOR President Colonel (UK Army Retd) Chris Argent to the far left.
Group photo with participating speakers and panelists at the Reserve Seminar in the Spanish Parliament.

Estonian ‘snap exercise’ for over 800 Reservists

The Estonian government last week decided to invite on short notice 823 armed forces Reservists to an additional training exercise, ‘Okas 2019’. Members of the 61st Combat Service Support Battalion were required to rush to rally points specified in their invites.

TALLINN, Estonia, October 23rd, 2019 (Text & photo: Estonian Defence Forces)

Okas 2019 is a readiness exercise with a purpose to test the chain of command from the decision of the Estonian government to the gathering of Reservists in their units. There is no immediate threat to Estonian security in the scenario.

Members of the 61st Combat Service Support Battalion were required to rush to rally points specified in their invites for last week’s exercise.

The mission of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) is to be ready for different scenarios, including these that are very unlikely to happen. EDF is ready to defend Estonia and is practicing it during exercises.

Efficient and viable deterrent measure

The Estonian national security concept is based on Reserve service that has proved itself to be an efficient and viable deterrent measure. The reason for this kind of peacetime exercises is to maintain and improve rapid reaction capabilities.

Being equipped right is an important part of getting ready to fight! From last week’s Reservist exercise in Estonia.

Snap exercises for Reservists at least once a year

EDF is inviting reservists regularly to different military training exercises on a longer 120-days-notice. Snap exercises have been carried out since 2016 at least once or twice a year.

Almost 80 percent of the Reservists who received the invitation, showed up. Some of them arrived to their units from places all over Europe where they work or study.

– Eighty percent response rate shows motivation to defend country

„The high numbers of reservists who immediately responded to the the call, shows that our Reservists are motivated to defend their country,“ Major General Indrek Sirel, Deputy Chief of Defence said.

For more photos from last week’s snap Reservist exercise in Estonia click here.

CIOR – UKRFA Summit on Norfolk Broads, East Anglia

CIOR President, UK Col Chris Argent (Retd.), the President designate, German Navy Captain Jan Hormann (R) and President of the UKRFA, Major General Greg Smith.

The CIOR President, UK Colonel Chris Argent (Retd.) and president designate German Navy Captain Jan Hormann (R) this week met with the President of the United Kingdom Reserve Forces Association/UKRFA, Major General Greg Smith. The summit took place on the Norfolk Broads in East Anglia, UK.

The topics discussed included CIOR both in the UK presidential term and in the upcoming German one, to ensure a smooth transfer from one presidency to the next.

The conversation also included the continuation of the various strategic developments of the confederation, the CIOR President’s upcoming presentation to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels on 7 October and the forthcoming autumn meeting (IBM) in Edinburgh, Scotland 24 to 27 November.

CIOR Language Academy precursor to Summer Congress

The CIOR Summer Congress takes place 4-10 August in Tallinn, Estonia. The forerunner has been the CIOR Language Academy (CLA). The CLA held classes in French and English from July 20 to August 4, at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn.

Photo by: MajorJean-François Lambert​, CIOR Public Affairs Committee, Canadian Armed Forces.

The CIOR Language Academy (CLA) teaches English and French as a second language, emphasizing a NATO military lexicon while at the same time providing an orientation to CIOR. The instructors, qualified reserve officers as well as skilled linguists and teachers, are provided by CIOR member nations and are selected through a competitive process.

The students are NATO reserve officers and active duty officers of the new democracies of Eastern and Central Europe. Through the Language Academy, they are provided an essential and indispensable tool to carry out international NATO business – the ability to communicate in one of NATO’s two official languages. Established in 2000, CLA was a CIOR initiative in support of the Partnership for Peace program and has matriculated more than 300 officers from every nation of Eastern and Central Europe.

Photo by: MajorJean-François Lambert​, CIOR Public Affairs Committee, Canadian Armed Forces.

CIOR Language Academy is open to Reserve Officers or Active Officers below 60 years of age. NCOs, civilians with military affiliations and Retired Officers will have lower priority according to availability.

For more about CLA, click here.

CIOR President attends NRFC Summer Plenary: Warm reception and praise for MOU implementation

CIOR President Colonel (R) Chris Argent (UK) attended the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) Summer Plenary Meeting in Warsaw on 10 and 11 July. The President was warmly welcomed as a ‘special guest’.

Brussels, 11 July 2019: The Chairman of NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC), Brigadier General Robert Glab (Poland), introduced Colonel Argent to his colleagues as a ‘special guest’ to the meeting. He spoke warmly of the work done by the President in ensuring that the new NRFC-CIOR Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was completed and signed at the CIOR ‘Mid Winter Meeting’ in Brussels in January this year.

CIOR President Colonel (R) Chris Argent (left) and National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) Brigadier General Robert Glab signing the MOU between the two organizations in January this year. Photo: NATO HQ.

The President was accompanied to the meeting by CIOR Assistant Secretary General (SO1 Plans), Lieutenant Colonel Mark Coburn (UK).

Progress on first common project

On the morning of 11 July Colonel Argent informed NRFC on progress already achieved to operationalise the MOU, in particular in launching the NRFC/ CIOR Joint Project on Cyber Defence.

The first outputs from this work will be published around the time of the CIOR Summer Congress in Tallinn Estonia between 4 and 9 August. Then CIOR will progress with the development of an entry-level practitioners course on Cyber Defence, with the aim of holding the first course in the summer of 2020 – under the patronage of a joint NRFC-CIOR committee.

Two more projects awaiting CIOR Council support

The two additional projects, Recruiting & Retention and Employer Support, are already being progressed in CIOR and now await the early decision of CIOR’s Council to provide technological support – which can then be accessed both by NRFC and CIOR, and potentially third parties.

The CIOR President also informed NRFC about upcoming events commencing with the organization’s Summer Congress in August, with an estimated attendance of some 550 serving Reservists.

The two reserve organizations have agreed that a CIOR Liaison Officer (ASG Plans) should attend the NRFC Staff Officers Meeting in October, in Budapest, along with the lead of the CIOR Cyber Defence Working Group, and that a CIOR Delegation of about 10 officers will attend the NRFC Winter Plenary Meeting being held in 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia (USA).

An invitation is being extended to the Chairman and Secretary General of NRFC to attend the CIOR autumn meeting, also known as the ‘In-Between-Meeting’ in Edinburgh in November.

Looking forward to further co-operation

Both the NRFC chairman and the CIOR president recognised these 2 days as an important milestone in delivering the intent of the MOU, and said that they were looking forward to further close co-operation as the various strands of work develop.

CIOR Delegates visit Estonian Battlefield Exercise

Tallinn 9 May 2019: CIOR delegates yesterday visited Exercise “Spring Storm” in Estonia. A part of the exercise was a battlefield first aid scenario after an artillery unit was hit by counter battery fire.

The delegates witnessed an artillery battery deployed in the field and undergoing realistic training scenarios during the field-training phase of the exercise.

CIOR delegates visiting Exercise Spring Storm in Estonia. A part of the exercise was a battlefield first aid scenario after an artillery unit was hit by counter battery fire.

The Spring Storm exercise has some 7,500 troops from 10 NATO countries taking part.

CIOR visit to exercise and shooting range covered by…

  • Estonian national TV news (about 7 minutes in). Click here.
  • Estonian Defence Forces newsroom. Click here.
  • Video also available on YouTube. Click here.
  • EDF ‘SoldierMagazine’ Facebook page. Click here)
  • EDF online ‘picture room’. Click here.

CIOR Spring Meeting

The visit took place in conjunction with the spring meeting of the NATO-affiliated Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR). The meeting serves the purpose of keeping the various workstrands of the organization going in-between the main annual meetings – hence the internal “go-by name”: In-Between-Meeting (IBM).

Tallinn will also host this year’s Summer Congress of CIOR.

CIOR President Speaks at Diversity Conference

The President of CIOR Colonel Chris Argent (Retd.) recently spoke at a conference on diversity in the armed forces, in Quebec, Canada. The conference, organized by UNIDEF (project management company in defense industry dealing with technology and know-how transfer of defense products) took place at Université Laval 27 March 2019.

Des membres du commandement de la 2e Division du Canada, assistent à 10e rencontre Université Défense (UNIDEF) sur la thématique Diversité et Défense du Canada, à l’Université Laval, Québec, Qc, le 27 mars 2019.
Photo par: Cavalier Marc-André Leclerc, Affaires publiques du 5 GBMC
VL05-2019-0017-003

The CIOR President was amongst one and two-star military speakers from the Canadian, UK and French armed forces as well as academics from the university’s Security Faculty. The speakers addressed an audience of several hundred delegates.

The CIOR President gave an overview on current progress in improving diversity in the armed forces, the challenges of recruiting the ‘millenial generation’ and the opportunities that the recruitment of a more diverse human resource component gives the armed forces to meet the challenges of future and changing threats to peace.

 

IBM2 in Tallinn in May

The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, Confédération Interalliée des Officiers de Réserve, (CIOR) will hold In Between Meeting Two (IBM2/4) of the UK / Estonian Presidency in Tallinn, Estonia from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 May 2019

IBM Meeting Registration. Registration will be managed by EROA and can be completed by delegates via the following link:

https://fienta.com/cior-in-between-meeting-ibm-2-4

Tallinn, Estonia.

Attendees to IBM2 are asked to arrange travel so as to arrive no later than the evening of 7 Feb 19. Due to a number of potential late arrivals no social function is planned for this evening.  Meals will be available to order from the hotel or nearby restaurants.

Accommodation

Those CIOR Members attending will be accommodated in the Radisson Blu SKY Hotel (Rävala puiestee 3, Tallinn, ESTONIA).  Phone +372 6823 000.  For questions about accommodation – Email info.tallinn@radissonblu.com.

Hotel booking can be completed via the following link:

Dates: 07.-12.05.2019

  • promotional code CIOR
    • Payment at the hotel
    • Cancel 15 days or more prior to arrival = no penalty

Cancel 14-0 days prior to arrival = forfeit 100% of full stay

For guidance, delegate price per single or double room is 119 € per night. Price includes: buffet breakfast, wireless internet access and 9% VAT.

For guidance, delegate price per single or double room is 119 € per night. Price includes: buffet breakfast, wireless internet access and 9% VAT.

Optional programme

There will be an optional programme of visiting EDF annual field exercise Spring Storm on 08th (0900-1800), CIOR VP shooting competition on 09th (0900-1200), meetings on 09th (1300-1700), 10th (0900-1700) and 11th MAY (0900 – 1200).  There will be IBM Delegates Dinner (Social Gathering) in the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (https://www.koda.ee/en/about-chamber) on the evening of the 10th MAY.

Attendees will be free to depart after 1230, 11 MAY 19. 

The following attendance is sought:

  • CIOR Presidential Team.
  • Delegation VPs.
  • Committee Chairs.  To include:
  • Defence Attitudes and Security Issues Committee (DefSec)
  • Civil/Military Co-operation Committee (CIMIC)
  • Partnership for Peace and Outreach Committee (PfP & O)
  • Legal Committee (LEGAL)
  • Military Competition Committee (MILCOMP)
  • Language Academy Committee
  • Winter Seminar Committee 
  • Young Reserve Officers Committee
  • Public Affairs Committee
  • CIOMR Presidential Team (Optional but would be very welcome)
  • CISOR Presidential Team (Optional but would be very welcome)

Warning order: https://cior.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/20190228-Warning-Order_IBM2-1CA.docx

Reserve organizations discuss cooperation

The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) and the Interallied Confederation of Non-Commissioned Officers (CISOR) presidents, Colonel (R) Chris Argent and Master Sergeant (R) Michel d’Alessandro, agree to look at what activities they might be able to collaberate on.

The CIOR and CISOR presidents, Colonel (R) Chris Argent (left) and Master Sergeant (R) Michel d’Alessandro.

They also agree to try to co-locate activity where feasible.

Thirdly they explore how best to leverage the power of Reserves so they can contribute better to NATO.

To formalize the cooperation, CIOR and CISOR leadership have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This happened when the CIOR President visited and addressed the CISOR Central Committee Meeting in Hanover on Saturday, February 9th.

The ideas on how to make the two organizations work together were warmly received from both sides, and there is now a determination to make this opportunity work for respective reserve cohorts .


CIOR-CIOMR Summer Congress 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia, host city for the 2019 CIOR and CIOMR Summer Congresses.

The largest annual meeting of these two organizations is jointly held each summer in a different country and is organized by a separate member of CIOR/CIOMR each year; in 2017, the Congress was held in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2018 Quebec, Canada and in 2019 Estonia will be hosting the congress in its capital of Tallinn and surrounding areas.

Program: the two congresses are organized in conjunction with CIOR having Council meetings, the various committees and working groups and the CIOMR Congress conducting meetings with their respective committees. There will also be military competitions (MILCOMP) and other activities such as CIMIC exercises (CIMEX), Young Reserve Officers Workshop (YROW), CIOR Language Academy (CLA), the CIOMR Workshop and a Congress Symposium.

Participants’ accommodations are available at several hotels in Tallinn. The main hotel being the Radisson Blue for CIOR/CIOMR committees, and the Nordic Hotel Forum for the YROW participants. Congress rooms are also available at the Swiss Hotel, all in the downtown area of Tallinn.

The opening ceremony of the Congress is on Sunday August 4th at the Maarjamäe memorial, followed by a reception at the Maarjamäe palace.

The CLA will have already been active since July 20th at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn and will be finished on the opening day of the CIOR/CIOMR congress on August 4th.

The MilComp section will start training on the 4th and end on the 5th with competitions on the 6th to 8th. The awards ceremony will be on the 9th of August. All events take place at the Estonian Defence League Männiku shooting range on the outskirts of Tallinn.

CIMIC, work exercises (CIMEX) are from the 4th to the 6th at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences in Tallinn. Participants to the CIMEX exercise will join the rest of the Congress as soon as they conclude their exercise.

The Congress Symposium will be held on Wednesday August the 7th at the Swissotel in Tallinn.

The Closing Ceremony/Congress Gala Dinner will take place on Friday August 9th at the Seaplane Harbour Museum in Tallinn, which will officially close the CIOR/CIOMR 2019 Summer Congress in Tallinn, Estonia.

https://cior.erok.ee/

Link to events page.

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