Inauguration Ceremony of Integrated Air and Missile Defence Centre of Excellence (IAMD COE) as a NATO IAMD COE was held under the auspices
of the Minister of National Defence of Greece,
Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos on October 19th, 2021, at Souda AB Chania-Crete.
ATTENDEES AT THE CEREMONY WERE:
- General Paolo Ruggiero, The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation
From Framework Nation; The Hellenic Republic:
- Mr. Nikolaos Chardalias, Deputy Minister of National Defence,
- General Konstantinos Floros, The Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff,
- Lieutenant General Georgios Blioumis, The Chief of Hellenic Air Force General Staff,
- Lieutenant General Nikolaos Flaris, Commander of the Supreme Military Command of the Interior and Islands, representing the Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff,
- Vice Admiral Stylianos Petrakis, The Chief of Hellenic Navy General Staff,
- – Colonel (AF) Evangelos Tzikas, The Director of IAMD COE.
From sponsoring Nation; The Republic of Bulgaria:
- Lieutenant General Tsanko Stoykov, representing the Bulgarian General Staff,
From sponsoring Nation; The Czech Republic:
- Brigadier General Petr Cepelka, representing the Czech Republic General Staff,
From sponsoring Nation; Romania:
- Major General Corneliu Postu, representing the Romanian General Staff,
From Sponsoring Nation; The Republic of Turkey:
- Colonel (TUR AF) Murat Torumtay, representing Turkish General Staff.
- Colonel (TUR A) Ozkan Oruc, representing Turkish General Staff.
In his speech, the Director of IAMD COE highlighted that the Centre was established as an international organization on 8 April 2020, with the signing of an Operational Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The Hellenic Republic as the Framework Nation (FN) and The Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and The Republic of Turkey as Sponsoring Nations (SNs). On the same day, the participating nations established their relationship also with the Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT), by signing a Functional MOU. There were four milestones for the IAMD COE:
1. It’s first Steering Committee (SC) that was held on 9 September 2020 in Chania.
2. The accreditation visit by ACT/COE Program Development Branch Director, on 21 October 2020, which was successfully completed.
3. The approval of the IAMD COE as the 27th in line accredited NATO Centre of Excellence, by the Military Committee (MC), on 21 December 2020.
4. Its activation as a NATO Military Body (NMB) and the granting of international status under the Paris Protocol, by the North Atlantic Council (NAC), on 25 January 2021.
Since then, IAMD CoE has dedicated itself to its responsibility, which is to serve as an integrated air and missile defence expertise hub in order to support NATO and Nations transformation and operational efforts through support and enhancing the development of the Alliance`s, Sponsoring Nations`, and Partners` integrated air and missile defence capabilities in accordance with the NATO IAMD Concept. During the ceremony all the precaution measures against COVID-19 were followed.