Opening of the NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence (NATO CI COE)
On Thursday, October19th, at the Headquarters of the Land Operations Center in Krakow a press conference dedicated to the formal opening of the NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence was held.
The conference was attended by Ministers of National Defense: of Poland - Antoni Macierewicz, Slovakia - Peter Gajdoš, Romania - Mihai-Viorel Fifor and Hungary - István Simicskó.
– NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence in Krakow aims to expand the capabilities of the Alliance and its member nations to enhance NATO counterintelligence and improve interoperability. It is here where Allies will create the basic norms, policies and methods of counterintelligence operations of NATO in order to be able to effectively resist the penetration from our opponents - noted Minister Macierewicz.
– Penetration, which today covers all areas of life and affects not only our armies, but also affects critical infrastructure, affects our civilian life, and it is implemented through both, cybernetic tools and classical spy penetration - said the Head of MOnD.
– All of this, will be opposed by the NATO states and NATO counterintelligence services based on the norms, standards and doctrine developed here – said minister Macierewicz.
– That is why the weight of this project and the responsibility which falls on the officers and soldiers who work here, is gigantic. The security of our armies will depend on them. The security of our countries and our nations will depend on them - stressed Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
– Thank you for the invitation to grand opening the NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence. I also want to stress that during our last meeting a lot of negative information appeared. I would like to say that they were not true - said Minister of Defence of Slovakia Peter Gajdoš.
– The Center is able to train, instruct but also to prepare expert reports on the activities of counterintelligence. It is a result of cooperation, not only within NATO, but also of our fraternal nations - Slovakia and Poland - stressed Minister Peter Gajdoš.
- I'm glad that I can be here today, with you. For us, undoubtedly, it is a very important day, because at last we could open a Center that would give a security to our countries, our nations and all the Alliance. We, defence ministers, are responsible for security, but not only for identifying the threat, but also for the fight against it. Among others, this is the main purpose of the NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence - said Hungarian Minister of National Defence Istvan Simicsko during a press conference.
Speaking about the tasks of the NATO CI COE Romanian Defense Minister Mihai-Viorel Fifor said: - This Center is designed to work out a certain unity in the exercise and joint training of officers responsible for military counterintelligence. As I said, our country has delegated representatives to participate in courses, seminars and other activities of the Center, so that they can continue to train and develop. The NATO CounterIntelligence Center of Excellence in Cracow, as well as the Center in Romania, will provide experience, expertise and it will train other experts to carry out their mission. Once again, I would like to emphasize that it is a great honor for me to be here today. I would like to thank and congratulate the Minister of National Defence of Poland Antoni Macierewicz and the Minister of National Defence of Slovakia Peter Gajdoš for the well-executed piece of work.
- It is a great day for Poland and Slovakia, but also for NATO. (...) From the NATO point of view, the Counter-Intelligence Center of Excellence in Krakow will be a catalyst for NATO capabilities. Also our overarching goal is to eliminate all the negative effects and all activity of foreign interviews. Above this, we also want to raise our own capacity in this area. CounterIntelligence Center of Excellence in Cracow plays an extremely important role, but it also fills the existing gap . I would therefore like to thank the Minister of National Defence of Poland and Minister of National Defence of Slovakia for designation of Cracow and the Slovak - Lešť, so that the counterintelligence capabilities can develop here. Thank you for your commitment. And once again I thank the Minister of National Defence of Poland and Minister of National Defence of Slovakia for having succeeded - added at the end Admiral M. Nielson, NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.
The centre was created as a Polish-Slovak initiative and is supported by Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.
22nd February the silence procedure by NAC has ended and the Centre has earned status as the 24th NATO COE and its activation as a NATO Military Body with a granted international status under Article 14 of the Paris Protocol, as recommended by HQ SACT.
The NATO CI COE was established in 2015 under the Paris Protocol and is located in Krakow, the capital of scenic and historical Malopolska Region, and will utilize a modern Slovak military training area in Lest. The Republic of Poland and Slovak Republic signed the NATO Operational and Functional Memoranda of Understanding as Framework Nations in addition to Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia as Sponsoring Nations, and Headquarters Allied Command Transformation.
As the primary hub of NATO expertise in military counter-intelligence NATO CI COE aims to expand the capabilities and improve interoperability of the Alliance in the field of counterintelligence. The Centre acts as a catalyst for NATO adaptation and operations by supporting the development, promotion and implementation of new policies, concepts, strategies and doctrines. NATO CI COE will integrate best practices, and serve as a hub for CI expertise enabling NATO forces to achieve the highest level of interoperability and integration in support of strategic objectives.
The Director of the NATO CI COE is Colonel Robert Bala