On May 17 – 19 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys attended the NATO Military Committee Chiefs of Defence Session and the European Union Military Committee meeting in Brussels (Belgium).
“We discussed at NATO and EU Chiefs of Defence level issues and documents of strategic importance to the activity of the organisations over these days. The events were important for the organisations and member states alike. They give the opportunity for Chiefs of Defence to address agendas of their nations alongside NATO and EU agendas. We had an opportunity to discuss regional threats, measures of deterrence and defence and cooperation plans at a separate meeting with Chiefs of Defence of Estonia, Latvia and Poland,” Chief of Defence of Lithuania said about the visit results.
Presided over by Chairman of the Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Stuart William Peach, the 30 Allied Chiefs of Defense discussed the NATO 2030, NATO strategic military planning and adaptation, overviewed Alliance missions and operations, joint actions, and situation in Georgia and Ukraine, on May 18.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg informed the CHODs about the oncoming NATO Allied Heads of State and Government Summit which would address the main issues of Alliance viability and development.
When discussing the force drawdown from the mission in Afghanistan, Allied Chiefs of Defence spoke about challenges and ideas in the process and progress of the withdrawal and future engagement with Afghanistan. In the next discussion on the enhancement of the Alliance-led missions in Iraq and Kosovo Allied Chiefs of Defence underscored that it would be demand-based, depend on the situation on the ground, and respect the standpoint of the people of the countries.
A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to gender awareness at tactical, operational and strategic levels of NATO performance. The discussion covered positions of command, national training programmes on gender awareness, gender awareness advisory capacities, and integration of this aspect into all exercise and training events.
At the session with Chiefs of Defence of Georgia and Ukraine gratefulness was expressed for their countries’ sustained support to NATO missions and operations. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was praised for the progress on the Ukrainian defence reform and assured of steadfast and manifold support. The Alliance provides assistance to Ukraine in such areas as command and control, countering explosive devices, and medical rehabilitation. In a discussion with Chief of the Georgian Defence Forces focussed on the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package that comprises measures and initiatives to enhance Georgia’s defence capabilities and develop a closer security cooperation and interoperability with NATO Allies. A separate session of the three Baltic states’ and Polish CHODs is also planned to take place during the visit span to address regional security and defence planning. Lithuanian Chief of Defence is also scheduled to meet with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The European Union Chiefs of Defence met at the Council of the European Union Headquarters on May 19. Presided over by Chairman of the EU Military Committee General Claudio Graziano, they discussed the NATO-EU cooperation, EU military operations and training missions, military capacity building, and the course of the German Strategic Compass initiative.
CHODs selected a new Chair of the Military Committee at the session, the duties will be carried out by Chief of the General Staff of the Bundesheer General Robert Brieger as of 1 June 2022. He will succeed General Claudio Graziano.
In a Strategic Compass update CHODs agreed that the political level debate needed a military dimension and expertise. Chairman of the NATO Military Committee stressed at the NATO-EU cooperation session that it was necessary to use the opportunities opened by the concurrent Strategic Compass and NATO 2030 updating to tighten the cooperation between the two formats.
A separate session was dedicated to EU missions and operations. CHODs state that on account of the current shortfalls, the participating and planning to participate nations needed efficient planning and provision of resources, personnel, assets and logistical capability coherent with the level of political ambition.
The NATO and EU Military Committees (French: Comité militaire) are the highest structures of military command. They form advice and recommendations in the area of the Common Security and Defence Policy and military missions and operations. The committees are formed by Chiefs of Defence of the member states and meet twice a year.
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