IZMIR, Turkey – British Army Lt. Gen. Richard Cripwell, Deputy Commander of NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), hosted the General Officers Steering Committee 2019 (GOSC 19) meeting at the LANDCOM Headquarters here, March 19 and 20, 2019.
Cripwell highlighted that the GOSC 19 is one of the most important events for the land community in NATO. "Interoperability will be the keystone for the future of the Alliance," he said. "It's now time for action."
Lithuanian Army Maj. Aurelijus Braciska, the LANDCOM G7 planner for the meeting, explained the importance of the GOSC. The purpose of the GOSC 19 meeting is to improve the quality of land forces training and exercises, both national and Alliance, through the sharing of information and conceptualizing synchronized events, in support of NATO interoperability objectives and the development of Allied and partner capability and capacity. The GOSC also provides guidance to Combined Training Conference (CTC) planners in the form of priorities and objectives. The CTC happens twice a year.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Ellen Clark, Deputy Commanding General for U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) and the Director for Mobilization & Reserve Affairs, attended and reminded everyone that the goal of the CTC is to inform and shape the exercises strategy for the upcoming years aiming to offer training opportunities so the leaders at each level will be better adapted to the complex world. She insisted on the importance of the Defender exercise series. From a U.S. perspective, it will be the largest exercises in 25 years seeing the deployment of a large number of troops and equipment from the U.S. to Europe, the use of prepositioned stocks, and the movement of these troops and equipment through different countries before reaching the final exercise area.
LANDCOM and USAREUR, who cohosted the meeting, invited all 29 NATO nations and select NATO headquarters to participate in the GOSC. Each GOSC participant is a general officer or an empowered representative specialized in training and exercises.
Spanish Army Brig. Gen. Alfonso Alba Alonso, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans of LANDCOM, stated that "the goal of this conference was to create a dynamic conversation between all participants and I believe that we achieved it. There have been very good discussions during these two days."
During his closing remarks, Alba added, "It's clear that we face huge changes and challenges in the near future." He encouraged the attendees to continue to participate in the conference. "I strongly believe that [it] is a good venue to share different concerns and keep in contact with the nations and also with the Graduated Response Force (Land) units."
By U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Olson and Italian Army Maj. Giorgio Buonaiuto, LANDCOM Public Affairs