Today, in an official ceremony presided over by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, at JFC Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina handed command of the headquarters to his successor, General Riccardo Marchiò, Italian Army.
Almost two ago years, to the day, General Farina assumed command of JFC Brunssum. He is the first Italian Commanding General in JFC Brunssum’s history and has guided the headquarters through a period where, particularly in northern Europe, the security landscape has evolved significantly.
In keeping with the Alliance’s intent to establish a more flexible and responsive NATO Response Force (NRF), JFC Brunssum tested the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Exercise Brilliant Jump 2016) and led the establishment of NATO Force Integration Units, six of which lie in the JFCBS area of responsibility.
Following NATO’s 2016 Summit in Warsaw the headquarters was additionally tasked to oversee what is called an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Northern Europe. Pragmatically, this refers to the deployment of Battle Groups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland that are a clear demonstration of NATO’s commitment to deterrence and defence. Fully deployed since June 2017, these eFP Battle Groups have often been referred to by General Farina as a “catalyst for progress” of the whole Alliance.
“In a very short time we have taken on complex tasks and built a credible force contributing to deterrence in a proportional and determined way,’ stated General Farina in his remarks. He continued: “thank you to my staff, all the way from my Deputy and Chief of Staff down to the last private and civilian. And, finally, let me express my sincere thanks to our Dutch hosts, the Limburg and Brunssum communities. The bond between us continues to become ‘more together.’”
General Marchiò underlined, in his speech: “The word that comes to mind is continuity. We, together [must] continue to adapt to the ever changing and challenging security environment we face.”
The ceremony was well attended with circa 200 guests and a large number of VIPs.