Brunssum, The Netherlands – On 23 June 2023, a military ceremony took place at Camp Hendrik to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC Brunssum).
In the ceremony, General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta, Commander JFCBS, welcomed both civilian and military dignitaries, as well as current and former members of the Headquarters, together with their families. In his welcome address, the Commander reviewed the history of JFC Brunssum from its foundation as the Headquarters Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) in the French city of Fontainebleau in 1953, through its relocation to the Netherlands in 1967 and up to today:
“Throughout its existence, Joint Force Command Brunssum has adapted and evolved to meet the ever-changing security challenges. From the Cold War era to the present day, we have consistently demonstrated our agility and responsiveness in the face of emerging threats. Joint Force Command Brunssum has been at the forefront of NATO‘s efforts, whether it be crisis response operations, deployed and out of area operations or deterrence and defence. Our job has consistently been to ensure that the Alliance and all NATO nations remain vigilant and prepared”.
As the highest representative of NATO, the Chief of Staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Admiral Joachim Rühle, also addressed the audience, congratulating JFC Brunssum for preserving peace and security in Europe for 70 years, and stated:
“Only modern and innovative organisations will be able to persist in a fast-developing international security environment. Joint Force Command Brunssum is ready for this challenge.”
Finally, the Mayor of Brunssum, Ms Wilma van de Rijt, gave a speech in which she highlighted the long lasting and close relationship of the HQ with the municipality of Brunssum:
“Throughout these many decades, NATO has become vital to Brunssum. To us, NATO is not a Convention Alliance, with all the political and military manoeuvres that go with it. No! NATO are the men and women who came from all over the world to serve here, and to live here as our neighbours.”
During the ceremony, a few deserving military and civilian members of the Headquarters were honoured with the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s Recognition Award and the Long Service Award.
The speeches and the award ceremony were framed by the NATO hymn, the Dutch national Anthem and other music pieces performed by a German Military Band.