Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Andre Lanata, as well as National Liaison Representatives from Bulgaria, Greece, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey, participated in the event to sign the functional Memorandum of Understanding.
“Despite the very special situation the entire world is facing while fighting COVID-19, I am delighted to be able to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, establishing the functional relationship between Allied Command Transformation and the Integrated Air Missile Defence Centre of Excellence,” said General Lanata at the beginning of the ceremony.
Greece offered the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence to NATO on July 30, 2018. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey supported this offer by becoming Sponsoring Nations of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence, following the finalization of the Memorandum of Understanding. Greece will continue to serve as the Framework Nation of the new multinational Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence located in Chania, Crete into the future.
General Konstantinos Floros, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence Establishment Team Flag Officer, offered remarks during the event by Virtual Teleconference. He emphasized that the Centre of Excellence’s mission enhances interoperability and supports the development and exploitation of Integrated Air and Missile Defence capabilities of the Alliance, NATO Nations and Partners.
General Lanata provided closing remarks to thank Greece for its commitment, and its willingness to host and support the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence endeavour.
“Reaching this important milestone has been possible thanks to the active cooperation and the very close relationship between the Hellenic National Defence Staff and my Headquarters during the preparation of this project, over the last 20 months,” said General Lanata. “The Centres of Excellence play an important role in the domains of education and training, doctrine, concept refinement, and capability development, through experimentation and recommendations.”
He continued on to explain the significance of NATO building the robust Centre of Excellence Network, as well as how Integrated Air and Missile Defence continues to be one of the most complex and challenging missions of the Alliance.
“A successful execution of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence missions … relies on the principles of integration, interoperability, coordination, technical appraisal and, most of all, true partnership between Nations,” said General Lanata. “With NATO Air Command, other NATO accredited Centres of Excellence such as Air Operations, Joint Air Power or Cyber Defence among others, and highly specialized entities in our Nations, [Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence] will contribute to the identification and mitigation of existing gaps and support already existing efforts without duplication.”
The functional relationship between Allied Command Transformation and the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence aims at ensuring the Centre’s program of work, production and adaptation matches the speed of change along with the permanent need for adaptation in the Alliance, as defined by the Military Committee.
“Allied Command Transformation’s warfare development efforts will leverage the strength of the Centres of Excellence to ensure future interoperability and maintain our Warfighting edge,” said General Lanata.