General Lawson participates in two-day meeting with NATO Chiefs of Defence

May 21, 2015

Brussels, Belgium — General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, met with his North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) counterparts this week for a NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

Discussions at the two day meeting focused on:

  • The evolving global security environment and the associated implications for NATO;
  • The way ahead for implementation of the Readiness Action Plan by the 2016 NATO Summit that will take place in Warsaw;
  • The security situation in Ukraine and in Georgia,  and the progress of their respective defence reforms;
  • Updates on the Alliance’s assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe; and, Reinforcing NATO’s military cooperation with key regional partners.

The NATO Chiefs of Defence took advantage of this opportunity to honour the troops of Allies and Partners who have been killed while in the service of NATO, by participating in a wreath laying ceremony.

On the margins of the two day meeting, General Lawson met with several of his counterparts, including the Ukrainian and Polish Chiefs of Defence, for bilateral discussions.

Prior to his attendance at the NATO Military Committee meeting, General Lawson participated in the European Union Military Committee meeting which took place on May 19, 2015.

Quick Facts

  • The Military Committee is NATO’s highest military authority and is composed of Chiefs of Defence of NATO member countries. As such, this meeting provides an excellent opportunity for General Lawson to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts within the Alliance.
  • The NATO Military Committee plays a critical role in building on lessons learned from the Alliance’s missions and helps to ensure that Allied forces remain interoperable, modern, and capable of responding whenever the Alliance may need to call upon them.
  • Canada continues to be committed to all of NATO’s core tasks, including collective defence, and provides modern, deployable capabilities to Allied missions and highly trained personnel to its command structure.
  • Canadian Armed Forces contributions to Alliance operations and activities since 2012 alone have included:
  • Sustaining a high operational tempo in support of NATO’s core tasks
  • Maintaining a highly capable, deployable and interoperable NATO Force through a commitment to participating in major national and NATO exercises (i.e. JOINTEX, TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15)
  • Contributing to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (concluding a 12-year commitment to Afghanistan that saw the deployment of 40,000 members
  • Participating in NATO’s Kosovo Mission (KFOR)
  • Making early and robust contributions to NATO’s Assurance Measures, including:

o   Fighter jets (CF-18s) to Romania, followed by Baltic Air Policing in Fall 2014.

o   A Frigate to NATO’s Maritime Operations

o   Canadian Military Planners to SHAPE

o   Canadian Soldiers for bilateral and NATO training in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Committing resources to the NATO Response Force; and,
  • Maintaining a sizeable contribution to NATO’s Military Staff, including Deputy Commander of Joint Force Commander Naples.