His Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Her Excellency Joana Roper CMG, accompanied by the UK Defence Attaché to the Netherlands, Col Piers Strudwick, started her visit at the British Section of the nearby AFNORTH International School.
The school exists to serve the needs of children of staff members at JFCBS – formerly known as AFNORTH – and consists of British, American, Canadian, and German sections, each open to children of any nationality. There, the Ambassador met staff and children from the NATO community and witnessed a musical performance by the Band and Bugles of 7th Battalion The Rifles, British Army.
After the school visit, the Ambassador and her team continued on to HQ JFCBS, where she was welcomed by Commander JFCBS, General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta. After a short tour of the HQ and an office call with the Commander, she received a comprehensive briefing on NATO and the role of JFCBS before meeting key personnel from the HQ’s British community to discuss their views on life at one of NATO’s most important military headquarters.
Speaking during the visit, Her Excellency said:
I am delighted to visit Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum today here in the Netherlands.I am particularly pleased to see the continued interaction of the operational headquarters with the UK Permanent Joint HQ and Standing Joint Force HQ, which is the lead for the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force.
Commander JFCBS General Miglietta said:
“It is a great honour to welcome the UK Ambassador to this headquarters today. The United Kingdom is one of the pillars of NATO, and today is supporting Alliance operations right across Brunssum’s area of Northern Europe. As Framework Nation for NATO’s battlegroup in Estonia, a troop contributor to the battlegroup in Poland, and the current rotation of Baltic Air Policing in Amari Airbase, the UK stands ready to deter and defend on land and in the air on NATO’s eastern flank.
At sea, the UK’s powerful maritime capabilities keep our seas safe, especially in the High North and the Baltic, and its advanced cyber and space capabilities provide high-end capabilities to the Alliance."
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of the twelve original signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty, and thus a founding member of the NATO Alliance since its creation in 1947. The country was a driving force behind the development of NATO, and the former British General Lord Ismay served as NATO’s first Secretary General from 1949-54. The country is also one of the NATO’s three nuclear-armed member nations, offering an independent centre of decision-making for the supreme guarantee of Alliance security.