Brunssum, Netherlands - On 11 April the Mayor of Brunssum, Mr Luc Winants, and JFC Brunssum Commander, General Salvatore Farina, held a joint press conference to announce a 50th Anniversary celebration which will take place on 31 May to recognize 50 years of NATO's presence in the Netherlands.
The multinational celebration in the city of Brunssum will include a full day of ceremonies, family events and the distinguished presence of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis M. Scaparrotti.
"In 1967, during the Cold War, political developments required that NATO move its facilities out of France. The Netherlands government kindly offered the Hendrik mine facilities, here in Brunssum, to NATO and the rest is now history," said General Farina. "For five decades, thousands of civilian and military personnel from across the Alliance have come to the headquarters now called Joint Force Command Brunssum to experience the benefits of working and living in a multi-national environment. In honour of this historic anniversary, we invite everyone to join us on the 31st of May to celebrate the outstanding cooperation, friendship and support that has grown between NATO and the local community throughout the last 50 years."
General Farina also highlighted some of the ways NATO has changed and adapted since the 1960's, including the expansion of NATO from 15 nations in 1967 to 28 nations today and the complex security challenges that requires NATO to be more flexible and responsive than ever before.
In addition to the ceremonial events and family activities in the Brunssum town center, JFC Brunssum will also conduct an opening ceremony for a new wing of the headquarters building and will offer bus tours of the headquarters compound to the public.
"This is our small way of saying thank-you to the people of Brunssum and Limburg for offering NATO a home in this lovely area," said General Farina.
For more information on our 50th Anniversary celebration follow us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #50DaysTo50Years.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office