Today, in an outdoor ceremony presided over by General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Hans-Lothar Domröse handed command of JFC Brunssum to his successor, General Salvatore Farina. More than 200 dignitaries and guests representing the NATO Command Chain, European capitals, the Host Nation, North America, National and International Organizations attended.
General Domröse emphasized in his speech that his primary focus throughout his time in command has been Afghanistan; a mission that will continue to be a priority for the Headquarters. Turning to the NATO Response Force the General highlighted the excellent progress that has been made since the Alliance's 2014 Wales Summit with tasking relating to NATO's Readiness Action Plan: 'through a series of exercises in April and May 2016 we will have demonstrated a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force that is established, trained, exercised and useable', he stated. Further in his remarks General Domröse said he was very pleased with the progress of Regional Focus initiatives i.e. activities designed to better connect NATO and non-NATO operational-level military Headquarters in northern Europe.
Looking back to 2015 General Domröse said how pleased he was at the success of Exercise Trident Juncture, the largest NATO exercise in over a decade, hosted by Italy, Spain and Portugal. Between the end of September and early November circa 36000 troops from 27 NATO nations and five partner nations took part. 'This was an enormous challenge, but it showcased NATO at its very best and demonstrated to the world that NATO is here and is capable'.
SACEUR, in his remarks, praised General Domröse for his 'energy, enthusiasm, determination and passion' describing him as a 'force of nature'. General Breedlove went on to welcome General Farina as the new JFC Brunssum Commander stating he is 'very much the right man for the job as, amongst other achievements, is demonstrated by his magnificent leadership of KFOR'.
In a post change-of-command ceremony reception General Domröse was awarded the Dutch Medal of Merit (In Gold) by the Chief of Defence Staff of the Netherlands, General Tom Middendorp, and a departure gift on behalf of the town of Brunssum by the Mayor, Luc Winants.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Pictures are available via the JFC Brunssum website and social media platforms and will be updated until Monday, 7th of March 2016.
Allied Joint Force Command website
Change of Command Ceremony web release
Commander JFC Brunssum biography
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