Story and photo by Lieutenant Commander Dave Smith (Royal Navy), JFC Naples J9 MPB
LUQA BARRACKS, Malta—Joint Force Command Naples J-9 Division led a delegation from various NATO entities in an Expert Staff Meeting (ESM) with Armed Forces Malta (AFM) on June 27.
The annual meeting enhanced NATO's understanding of the host nation’s military interests and partnership goals, while showcasing partnership opportunities.
The ESM also enabled the delegation of the Military Partnership Branch and its partners to openly discuss progress under various initiatives and to ensure that our partners are correctly supported by NATO through JFC Naples.
The NATO delegation consisted of representatives from LANDCOM, MARCOM, NSHQ, the Contact Point Embassy (UK) and the US Embassy stationed in Malta.
Col Brian Gatt (MLT-A), Director of International Affairs of AFM, and French Army Colonel Franck Faubladier led the discussions which included a review of the cooperation program between AFM and NATO in 2019, the Armed Forces' topics of interest, JFC Naples MPB's role in facilitating this partnership and a presentation on worthwhile cooperation program activities and exercises available to AFM in 2020.
Col Faubladier stressed that ‘face to face’ meetings remain vital in maintaining the excellent relationship already cemented between NATO and the AFM and also stated that AFM continue to use the Mobile Training Teams tool and strongly consider using the opportunities available in the Operational Capabilities Concept.
AFM is a partner nation from the Partnership for Peace Framework and is in a key strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean facing all the challenges coming from the South.
The next ESM between JFC Naples and AFM will take place in JFC Naples in 2020.