General Domröse - Final Address to His Staff
Commander JFC Brunssum, General Hans-Lothar Domröse, addressed his staff for the final time before commencing a Hand Over / Take Over programme culminating in a Change of Command Ceremony, Friday 04 March.
'Today I stand in front of you talking to soldiers for the last time', the General opened his remarks with. Of course, he went on to acknowledge the contributions of all members of his workforce – soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians – but the sentiment was clear, this would be the last time this superb leader, who successfully scaled the ranks to the very top, would make a speech as a military Commander to his staff.
The thrust of the General's remarks centred around his Commanders' Intent upon arrival at JFC Brunssum in December 2012 and its comparison to his January 2016 priorities (in the military a 'Commanders' Intent' and is a mechanism commanders use to prioritise and focus the work of their people). In 2012 his focus areas were the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, the NATO Response Force and the newly introduced concept of Regional Focus. Today we have the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, an enhanced NATO Response Force, Regional Focus & Partnerships and the new task of Assurance Measures following Russia's annexation of the Crimea and sustained activities along the eastern border of Ukraine.
Although the General accepted many challenges remain, especially in the areas of Cyber and Strategic Communications, he pointed to a number of significant accomplishments. These include but are not limited to: Regional Focus activities that have given rise to a reliable structure of interconnected HQs in northern Europe that regularly interact and work together; a broad acceptance that a Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management is the best approach; a willingness to enhance and broaden the scope of NATO exercises such that they are increasingly appealing to nations as they offer a broad spectrum of challenging opportunities in a realistic joint and multi-national environment that are also 'value for money'; increasing connectivity between the NATO Force Structure and the NATO Command Structure; and, considerable evolution of the NATO Response Force making it increasingly capable, flexible and quicker to deploy.
General Domröse closed his remarks by reminding of his JFC Brunssum mantra – our ability to Respond underlines our Relevance which, in turn, sustains and enhances our Reputation.