CIOR´s incoming presidential team visits NATO HQ

The Estonian Reserve Officers Association´s team is preparing to take over the CIOR presidency in early August, at the Athens Summer Congress. A part of that is to get familiarised with NATO headquarters.

By: Lieutenant Commander Ingrid Mühling, Estonian Defence Forces/CIOR Public Affairs

The Estonian presidential team is preparing to commence with presidential duties immediately after the congress. Last week, the delegation visited NATO headquarters in Brussels. Together with the CIOR permanent representative to NATO, lieutenant colonel (r) Ben Jonckers (Belgian Army), they met with major general Karl Ford (UK Army), who is the Deputy Director of the International Military Staff (IMS), and major general Indrek Sirel – the Estonian Military Representative to NATO and the EU.

The team introduced CIOR´s strategic programme and the Estonian goals for the forthcoming presidency to the generals, as well as discussed with them about possible co-operation and mutual assistance opportunities.

The Estonian presidential team, led by lieutenant colonel Toomas Luman, presented the first ever CIOR presidential coin to major general Karl Ford.

Sharing of experience

– Estonia is willing to share its experience with regard to reserves, as we are one of few countries in CIOR whose defence relies mostly on the reserve forces. We are especially focusing on cyber- and information warfare units, and consider protection of civil society from malign influence one of our main goals, said major (r) Andre Lilleleht – a member of both the current and the incoming presidential team.

CIOR has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NATO via the National Reserve Forces Council (NRFC). CIOR counsels NATO on matters related to reserve forces.

First meeting since pandemic

It is customary for the CIOR president to meet with the Deputy Director General of the International Military Staff regularly. Due to COVID restrictions, the regular meetings have not taken place over the recent years.

Will foster relations

– Last week´s meeting was a good opportunity to refresh friendly relations in this current, challenging security environment. CIOR has worked in close co-operation with NATO since the very first days, and we are set to keep up the good working relationship, major Lilleleht said.