NDC convenes maritime conference in aspirant NATO member state Montenegro
On 5 September 2015 in Bar, Montenegro, the NATO Defense College Research Division in cooperation with Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro convened an Expert Roundtable on security in the Adriatic Sea. The event, which coincided with the port visit of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group (SNMCMG) 2, marked an important occasion highlighting Montenegro’s ongoing commitment to, and preparations for NATO membership, in anticipation of the 2016 Warsaw Summit. This was underscored by the presence of Admiral Dragan Samardzic, Chief of the General Staff of the Montenegrin Armed Forces, who opened the deliberations, and His Excellency Ambassador Vesko Garcevic, National Coordinator for NATO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, who offered the final summation.
The Roundtable provided an opportunity for regional states to demonstrate how, through the Alliance Maritime Strategy and other frameworks such as ADRION, they are addressing maritime security requirements summarized in the EU Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas “to monitor maritime traffic, respond to emergencies, save human lives, restore the marine environment, control fisheries activities and cope with security threats and illegal activities.” Distinguished speakers included His Excellency Slavko Matanovic, Minister of Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio, Chief of Staff of Allied Maritime Command, Rear Admiral Predrag Stipanovic, Commander of the Croatian Navy, Rear Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos, Head of Policy and Strategy Branch of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, Rear Admiral (Select) Cathal S. O’Connor, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Resources and Plans at US Naval Forces Europe – Africa/US Sixth Fleet, and Rear Admiral Vesko Gluszko, Deputy Director General EU Military Staff. The Roundtable concluded with a first-hand explanation of the mine hunting capabilities and NATO interoperability offered by the current SNMCMG 2 surface assets led by the Turkish flagship, TCG Sokullu Mehmetpasa (A-577).