CSO and CMRE representatives, along with the general managers of the other eight NATO agencies, participated in a two-day event at the NATO HQ lobby in Brussels, including an exhibit and a series of information briefings.
The event opened on 17 September and was attended by NATO ambassadors and agency representatives. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, recalled the NATO Agency Reform process that lead to the creation of the current nine agencies, and he underlined the valuable support these agencies guarantee to the Alliance and to the Nations. Mr. Patrick Auroy, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, welcome the participants and highlighted the important role that the diverse array of agencies provide to NATO, nations and partners.
The programme included a series of information briefings addressed to NATO staff and visitors on 18 September. The Science and Technology Organization (STO) briefing was presented by MG Roger Renard, CSO Deputy Director. Renard illustrated the challenges of the new mission and structure of the CSO (previously known as RTA), CMRE (previously known as NURC) and the NATO Chief Scientist Office at the NATO HQ in Brussels, now merged into the new STO.
This was the first time the NATO agencies collaborated on a display to the international community to explain their implementation of the reform process. The brand-new integrated exhibit incorporated photos and capabilities stories organized along the lines of four themes: NATO Agency Reform, cooperation with partners, agencies' support to NATO's priority capabilities, and Smart Defence.
In particular NAGSMA (NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency) showed how it works to guarantee the safety of troops on the ground from threats in the sky by creating an integrated system consisting of an air segment based on UAVs and a ground segment based on a multi-platform radar technology. NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter DandD Production and Logistics Management Agency) illustrated its management of the NH90 helicopter programme on behalf of the involved Nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal, plus Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and Sweden for post-design and in-service support phases). NAMEADSMA gave an overview on the Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS). NSPA, the NATO Support Agency, highlighted multinational logistics solutions coming from NAMSA (NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency), CEPMA (Central Europe Pipeline Management Agency) and NAMA (NATO Airlift Management Agency), which were merged together in 2012. NCIA (NATO Communications and Information Agency) explained its role in running and defending NATO's networks, including the challenges of cyber defence. NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) and NAPMA (NATO AEW&C Programme Management Agency) showcased their aerial support programs. NSA (the NATO Standardization Agency) was also represented.
The NATO Agencies Days aim to become a periodic event to keep the Alliance community updated on the agency missions and daily challenges.