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Sep 17 2021

Joint Force Command Naples commemorates 70 years of NATO in Italy

LAGO PATRIA, Italy – Joint Force Command Naples marked the 70th anniversary of its headquarters in Italy during a ceremony in Lago Patria, Italy on 17 September 2021.

President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, was the guest of honor at the event.

Admiral Robert Burke, Joint Force Command Naples commander, hosted. In attendance was Mircea Geoană, NATO Deputy Secretary General.

General Eisenhower's letter from June 1951 to Admiral Robert Carney was read to the guests of the ceremony. The letter established the command 70 years ago.

"We're here today to celebrate 70 years of NATO in Italy. Securing our Alliance's southern flank and commanding operations that continue to shape the future of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa," Admiral Burke said.

During the ceremony, the warmth and friendship of Italian hospitality was evident as guests and senior leaders took part in a ceremony which occurred in the bases' large theater, as inclement weather threatened the planned outside event.

"The Atlantic Alliance represents for Italy a security policy cornerstone, in coordination, evermore ample and productive, with the European Union, intending to contribute in an efficient manner to stability and to the assertion of the principles of the Rule of Law," President Mattarella said.

Italian and NATO flags were exchanged as gifts and symbols of the enduring relationship.

JFC Naples has maintained an important connection with the local community in the Campania Region through the years, and has operated out of Bagnoli, Naples onto its current location in Lago Patria.

Today the headquarters leads missions in Iraq with NATO Mission Iraq, in Kosovo with the Kosovo Force, and engages actively in Africa through the NATO Strategic Direction South HUB.

"JFC Naples is of course in a prime location to do such varied and important work. We couldn't do it without the full support and tremendous hospitality of our generous host nation of Italy," Admiral Burke said.

NATO is the world's most successful alliance. Throughout its success over the last 70 years, Italy and in particular Naples has played a significant role. From opening and maintaining the sea lines of communication in the Mediterranean during the Cold War, to involvement in the Western Balkans in the 1990s and most recently JFC Naples central role in evacuating NATO Afghan employees and their families.


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Admiral Robert Burke, Joint Force Command Naples Commander, delivers remarks during the ceremony for the 70th Anniversary of NATO in Italy in Lago Patria, Italy on 17 September 2021. JFC Naples marked the 70th anniversary of its headquarters in Italy during a ceremony. (NATO photo by DEU-AF Master Sergeant Florian Fergen)

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President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella observes the wreath in Lago Patria, Italy on 17 September 2021. JFC Naples marked the 70th anniversary of its headquarters in Italy during a ceremony in the base theater. (NATO photo by DEU-AF Master Sergeant Florian Fergen)

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President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, delivers remarks during the ceremony for the 70th Anniversary of NATO in Italy in Lago Patria, Italy on 17 September 2021. JFC Naples marked the 70th anniversary of its headquarters in Italy during a ceremony. (NATO photo by DEU-AF Master Sergeant Florian Fergen)

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President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella (left), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana (center),  and Admiral Robert Burke (right), Joint Force Command Naples Commander, enter the Joint Force Command Naples honour cordon in Lago Patria, Italy on 17 September 2021. JFC Naples marked the 70th anniversary of its headquarters in Italy during a ceremony. (NATO photo by DEU-AF Master Sergeant Florian Fergen)


Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office

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