Transformation Network Branch, Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT), in co-operation with the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE), successfully conducted the 3rd NATO Centres of Excellence Financial Controllers (FINCON) Conference – 2017. The event was held in the City of Varna on 15-18 May 2017.
The 2017 COEs FINCON Conference was opened by Rear Admiral Mitko Petev, the Commander of Bulgarian Navy, who warmly-welcomed the participants in the maritime capital of Bulgaria and wished them productive deliberations in successfully reaching the objectives of the Conference.
Moderated by CDR LTC Cesar Correia (PRT Navy), TNB, HQ SACT, the event served as a forum for exchange of best practices and lessons learned for the NATO COEs FINCON Community and brought together FINCONs, BUDFINs and LEGADs from 20 COEs, as well as representatives from Allied MoDs.
The discussant Mrs. Rasa Pazarauskiene (NATO Lead for establishment, preparation and accreditation of NATO COEs) set the stage for a broad deliberation on COEs’ financial architecture, while Mr. George Christie, HQ SACT Command Auditor, addressed an array of diverse questions providing insights into the specificities of audit procedures.
A visit to the Naval Academy ‘Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov’ was organized by the Conference hosts. The participants had the opportunity to become acquainted with the newly established Simulation centre of the Academy.
The outcome of the conference was the establishment of a common understanding of financial challenges faced by COEs simultaneously suggesting practical solutions for overcoming any potential drawbacks.
Upon a joint decision, the next iteration of NATO COEs FINCON Conference will be in the form of a workshop, to be organized in 2018 by the NATO Stability Policing Centre of Excellence (NATO SP COE).
CMDR COE Holds Fifth Steering Committee Meeting
(Source: CMDR COE | Photo: CMDR COE)
The Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE) conducted its fifth Steering Committee Meeting on October 25-26, 2017.
The annual session was held in Sofia, Bulgaria with the participation of the National Representatives from the MOD of Republic of Bulgaria, as a Framework Nation, the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the MOD of Republic of Poland, as Sponsoring Nations. In accordance with the CMDR COE Functional memorandum, HQ SACT representatives joined the annual event.
The meeting was chaired by VADM Emil Eftimov, BGR DCHOD. In his opening speech he elaborated upon CMDR COE’s annual achievements and prospects, noting that “During these past years, the Centre has generated a wealth of information and expertise in the field of crisis management, disaster response, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery. Based on its efforts up to now, CMDR COE is able to bring expertise to partners and collaborators in applying the comprehensive approach in crisis management and disaster response”, stressing that the Centre’s plans are to disseminate the relevant knowledge gained whenever NATO conducts training courses and exercises for governmental bodies and local officials.
CMDR COE was honoured to welcome Major General William Hickman, DCOS, Strategic Planning and Policy, ACT to the 5th SC meeting. During the event MG Hickman held an official meeting with the CMDR COE personnel. He expressed his willingness to support CMDR COE efforts to enhance expertise by additional NATO members and partner states, joining as CMDR COE sponsoring nations. MG Hickman elaborated on the current international challenges, among which are the lack of resources, immigration, as well as the political, economic and social instability. He emphasized the importance of stakeholders working within the CMDR domain, as well as the development of CMDR COE training and educational capabilities through cooperation with HQ SACT E&T bodies, the promotion and development of various CMDR COE projects at the HQ SACT level.
During the 5th Steering Committee meeting, the SC members deliberated on a number of items including the proposed CMDR COE Programme of Work for 2018, as well as the Budget Estimates for FY-2018. Eventually, all proposals were approved by consensus.
The fifth CMDR COE meeting concluded on a positive note with a tour de table and a closing ceremony held by the CMDR COE Director.
Project Manager and Exercise Director for VIKING 18 visits CMDR COE
Members of the Core Planning Team for the Computer Assisted Exercise (CAX) VIKING 18, led by the Project Manager and Exercise Director MG Anders BRÄNNSTRÖM visited the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE) on 19 October 2017. The delegation met with COL Vassil ROUSSINOV, CMDR COE Director, COL Milen MILKOV, Education and Training Branch Chief and LTC Anastasios VASILEIOU – Section Head and Acting Hellenic Armed Forces Seniour National Representative. Present at the event was also a team from Operations and Training Directorate, Bulgarian MOD led by COL Dimcho JECHEV.
Subject of the meeting was the future CMDR COE involvement in the planning, execution and analysis of VIKING 18, scheduled for April 2018. The exercise is to be held “In the spirit of Partnership for Peace” in Sweden involving civilian, military and police authorities dealing with a multidimensional crisis in an unstable environment. The exercise play is to be augmented by remote sites, one of which will be CMDR COE, experimenting and verifying its new Operation Lab capability.
CMDR COE’s Director presented the Centre’s role, function and initiatives in becoming a focal point in the Crisis Management and Disaster Response domain, which facilitated better appreciation of the possible support. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the possible ways of future cooperation.
Montenegro Ministry of Defence Delegation Visits CMDR COE
A Montenegro Ministry of Defence Delegation, led by Mrs. Alma Adrovic, Head of the Public Relations Service, visited the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE) on September 28, 2017. The delegation attended a meeting with COL Milen Milkov – Education and Training Branch Chief and LTC Anastasios Vasileiou – Doctrine and Standardisation Section Head.
The meeting was organized as part of the “Visit of representatives of Public Relations Service of MNE MoD” event from the Plan for bilateral military cooperation between BGR MOD and MNE MoD.
NATO and the Republic of Montenegro cooperate on democratic, institutional, and defence reforms, in addition to working together in many other areas, including in the crisis management and disaster response domain.
During the meeting, Colonel Milen Milkov delivered the overall CMDR COE presentation that facilitated the better understanding of the Centre’s role and function as a focal point in the Crisis Management and Disaster Response (CMDR) domain. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the possible ways of future cooperation between CMDR COE and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Montenegro in the Crisis Management and Disaster Response domain.
5th Annual Conference Interagency Interaction in Crisis Management and Disaster Response
CMDR COE carried out its 5th Annual Conference Interagency Interaction in Crisis Management and Disaster Response 2017 on June 1-2 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The conference was held under the patronage of the Deputy Prime Minister for Public Order and Security and the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Krasimir Karakachanov.
The CMDR Interagency Interaction conference is an annual event which brings together subject matter experts, researchers and educators, planners and developers, advisers and various actors working in the crisis management and disaster response domain in order to promote a lively debate on relevant issues.
This year, more than70 representatives of a total of 14 countries, including Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, China, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States took part in the event. The CMDR COE was honoured to welcome representatives of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – OCHA; NATO HQ; SACT HQ; NATO Defence College; NATO COEs (Modelling and Simulation, Energy Security, Military Medical); Hellenic National Defense General Staff; US Agency for International Development – Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance; 77th Brigade, Force Troops Command, British Army; Bundeswehr Office for Defense Planning; BGR Ministry of Defence; Rakovski National Defence College; the National Military University Vasil Levski; Bulgarian Universities (Sofia university, University for national and World Economy); National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography; Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as well as business and Industry representatives.
The 2017 CMDR COE annual conference was divided in three panels, namely:
– Defence support in disaster response operations;
– Implications of climate change to military activities and M&S support for crisis and disaster management;
– Building societal resiliency and mitigating vulnerability.
The conference opening address was delivered by the Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Atanas Zapryanov. Mr. Zapryanov expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the CMDR COE annual conference has become a successful mechanism for exchanging ideas and recommendations on key issues in crisis management and disaster response, as well as for developing good cooperation between the actors involved in the process. The Deputy Minister of Defence highlighted the role of CMDR COE as a strategic asset for Bulgaria, as well as for the Alliance, adding that the Centre works successfully in close cooperation with NATO and EU structures and contributes to enhancing interoperability through research, analyses, lessons learned and information sharing.
The opening address of the Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria was followed by the welcome speech of the CMDR COE Director, COL Vassil Roussinov who noted that the aim of the 5th CMDR COE Annual Conference was to bring out organisational or personal experiences of good practices and lessons learned from either national or international institutional arrangements that seek to increase comprehensiveness and cooperation between institutions operating in the context of the crisis management and disaster response.
The keynote speakers at the Interagency Interaction in Crisis Management and Disaster Response conference were RADM US NAVY Pete A. Gumataotao, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Policy in Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT) and FOGO champion; BG Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Director of A6 Directorate (Civil Defence, CIMIC and Civil Emergency Planning) of Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Multinational CIMIC Group, and Mr. Jean-Dominique Dulière Head of Crisis Responses and Exercises Section in NATO HQ, Brussels.
The productive work and lively discussions throughout the two-day event have led to achieving the main objectives of the CMDR COE annual conference, including the dissemination of knowledge concerning Lessons Identified/Lessons Learned in disasters relief and humanitarian assistance, consequence management and the ways of mitigation the effects of the natural and manmade calamities, as well as exchanging ideas among the members of the crisis management community of interest, providing opportunity for the researchers to present their work and share experience with other actors in the same field, and sharing data and facilitating cooperation between research institutes and governmental organisations.
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