Story by JFC Naples Military Partnership Branch
NAPLES, Italy — An Expert Staff Meeting between Allied Joint Force Command Naples and Israeli Defense Forces took place in Tel Aviv, Israel last Thursday.
Brigadier General Erez Maisel, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) international cooperation unit commander, hosted a JFC Naples delegation led by Brigadier General Reinhard Kloss, assistant chief of staff J9, for the first ever Military Cooperation Expert Staff Meeting between NATO and Israel. The IDF was well represented by staff officers from various functional areas within the General Staff in addition to representatives from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Partnership representatives from NATO’s LANDCOM and MARCOM were also in attendance.
The aim of the Expert Staff Meeting was to familiarize IDF officials with JFC Naples’ role in the NATO Command structure, military cooperation processes and partnership activities. The information presented was used to construct a draft activity plan for 2018 supported by the Individual Partnership Cooperation Program between NATO and Israel that entered into effect on 30 January 2017.
Maisel confirmed Israel’s desire to increase partnership activities with NATO and stated the IDF had two goals for the meeting: to gain a better understanding of how NATO works and to identify specific partnership objectives achievable in 2018. At the same time, Maisel acknowledged the importance of maintaining realistic expectations.
The IDF delegation came away with a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints for participating in NATO sponsored courses and military exercises. The NATO team gained insight into Israel’s security concerns and partnership priorities. Kloss concluded the meeting by reiterating the importance of this historic first meeting and the need to maintain a regular dialogue to ensure partnership objectives are met.
Israel has been a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) framework since 1994.