NATO Air Command in Izmir to close in June

Allied Air Command Lieutenant General Ralph Jodice said main reason behind transition was to modify NATO to changing circumstances and needs

NATO Air Command in Izmir to close in June

World Bulletin/News Desk

NATO Air Command in Izmir will end its duty on June 1, the command's chief told the Anadolu Agency.      

Lieutenant General Ralph Jodice, commanding general for NATO Air Command (AC), said after the deactivation ceremony on May 22, Air Ccommand Izmir would be officially closed.      

Jodice underlined that people should understand why NATO was reducing the number of headquarters and said, "Every organization needs to adapt and make the necessary adjustments based on the requirements of the time, and that's what NATO did. The main reason for transformation is to meet the demands and conditions of the time."      

Jodice said that although the change in structure would consequently yield some economic benefit, it was not only related with cost savings, but would also allow NATO to be more effective and react more rapidly in response to contingencies and crises.      

"In NATO, there are task-oriented member nations who succeeded in their duties. NATO as an international organization needed to be restructured to account for the new states of alliance," Jodice said.      

Jodice also stressed the importance of maintaining international relations between Europe and North America, adding that training and exercises would be crucial for the Alliance following more than a decade of operations in Afghanistan.      

Stating that NATO's spirit of unity and shared responsibility were at the forefront, Jodice said, "The power arises from the consensus of all 28 member nations and results in synergy and deterrence, which is more powerful than the real power of individual member nations."         

Lieutenant General Jodice said that he was impressed with the tour of Gelibolu (Gallipoli) last week with the military members and their families from NATO'S Air and Land Commands.      

The trip was co-hosted by the commander of NATO's Land Command, LTG Frederick Ben Hodges, who was joined by his deputy chiefs of staff BG Wilhelm Grun of Germany and BG Bogdan Tworkowski of Poland. They, along with over 100 other people visited Anzac Cove, Kilitbahir, V Beach (Ertugrul Bay), and memorials of the 57th Infantry Regiment, Seddulbahir, Lone Pine, French and British monuments.      

Jodice said that while he was a military attache in Beijing, he followed ANZAC's Dawn Ritual every year. Since then, he wished to see Gelibolu.      

"I have visited many battlefields, but few of them are as impressive as Gelibolu. It's always emotional to actually walk across the same places where thousands of men from multiple countries bravely fought. This is impossible to fully appreciate from history books alone. Gelibolu was where some of the bloodiest battles took place, and you learn how cruel war can be," he said.      

Hodges, commander of NATO's Land Command, in a previous interview with the AA, said not only soldiers but all individuals had to take lessons from Gelibolu.      

"Being here with officers and non-commissioned officers on my staff from nearly 20 nations, including former adversaries from this very campaign, we had an interesting and useful experience and examining several exceptional examples of operational initiative by Colonel Mustafa Kemal," said Hodges.      

"Because the history here is so recent for many current NATO members, people who bring their children here gain a sense of the sacrifice that was made by those young men nearly 100 years ago. You cannot help but be inspired by and grateful for the fact that our countries sought to form or join the Alliance to defend their independence and preserve peace between our countries," he concluded.      

Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2013, 17:17
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