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CIOR president addressed NATO Military Committee

LCDR Ingrid Mühing 21.06.2023
CIOR´s president LTC Toomas Luman delivered speech to NATO´s Military Committee about CIOR´s current tasks and challenges reserve forces are facing on Monday. The Military Committee is the senior military authority in NATO, it is made up of countries Military Representatives who meet frequently and Chiefs of Defence who meet three times a year. 

 „CIOR activities within information sharing, training and education are highly important to help prepare and, if necessary, utilise military and civilian competencies to deter and defend, before or during a crisis and potentially during a conflict,“ admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of the Military Committee said.

LTC Luman draw attention to Russia´s aggression against Ukraine, Russia´s potential to use all resources, and NATO´s ability to respond to it. „Over the last decades force planners in Europe have focused on well-equipped, high-tech expeditionary forces and not maintained large reserves. The current war in Ukraine has shown that wars can’t be fought without a trained reserve,“ LTC Luman said.

He explained CIORs role as a provider of professional development, interoperability and mutual understanding and proposed to update NATO´s Military Policies concerning reserves and relations with Russia. „Especially in MC 0392/1 that defines relationship of Military Committee and National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) , the role of CIOR should be better defined,“ he said.

CIOR´s president stated that the primary purpose of reserves should no longer be limited to filling personnel gaps in active-duty forces but it should be more actively integrated and trained to support high-intensity combat operations. „Reservists can deliver expertise that does not normally exist in regular forces. To use this expertise in most effective manner, reservists should be evaluated individually. War in Ukraine has proved that drone operator can be in a wheelchair and still successfully contribute to the battle. The same applies to cyber specialists,“ he added.

„To increase the size and capabilities of the reserves, there must be a better understanding and cooperation between military and civilian societies. Citizens are foundation of national defence and they must be trained and involved more actively. If citizens don’t understand their role in national defence, they don’t understand why should society allocate resources to the military,“ he concluded his statement.

The Military Committee, headed by its Chair, meets frequently at the level of national Military Representatives, and three times a year at the level of Chiefs of Defence. The Committee´s principal role is to provide consesnus-based advice on military policy and strategy to the North Atlantic Council and direction to NATO´s strategic commanders. 

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