NAPLES, Italy – German Army Brigadier General Reinhard Kloss, the assistant chief of staff for military partnership at JFC Naples, welcomed Kuwaiti Air Force Brigadier General Khaled Al Ragem, Kuwaiti Defense Attaché, and his team to Allied Joint Force Command Naples, April 10, 2018.
While JFC Naples has visited Kuwait many times in the past, this was the first Kuwait visit to the southern Italy headquarters for an Expert Staff Meeting.
The team from Kuwait enhanced their knowledge on cooperation program activities and exercises available. Staff from JFC Naples and the group from Kuwait also explored partnership activities and created a plan for activities both in and out of Kuwait for the upcoming years.
The NATO military partnership with Kuwait has seen a steady growth in numbers of Kuwaiti military personnel participating in NATO activities over the last several years. In fact, in 2017, Kuwait had a record number of Kuwaiti military personnel receiving NATO training since the beginning of the 13-year partnership.
Kloss highlighted the increase in participation to the visitors and encouraged Kuwait to continue the trend.
Last year alone, 119 Kuwaiti troops participated in 20 NATO training activities. This compares to 49 personnel in 2016 and four in 2010.
Event organizers said the meeting was successful with open and productive discussions resulting in a better understanding on what needs to be done to continue the partnership growth trend between NATO and Kuwait.
Al Ragem and his staff also had the chance to greet and discuss the way ahead with the JFC Naples commander and chief of staff, U.S. Navy Admiral James Foggo and Italian Army Lieutenant General Luciano Portolano, respectively.
Kuwait is an active NATO partner country and was the first nation to become a member of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Framework in 2004. It currently participates in numerous NATO initiatives. According to organizers with the Military Partnership Branch at JFC Naples, these meetings are a vital part of the annual military cooperation between NATO and Kuwait, as it ensures the military partnership is meeting the needs of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and generates partnering activity that is in-line with NATO’s Military Committee’s Direction and Guidance. Event organizers added that more broadly, it also supports NATO’s broader aims to help build the trust and understanding that will lead to better cooperation in the region while increasing military interoperability for future NATO missions.
Story by JFC Naples J9