Defence Ministers from Southeast Europe gathered during the two-day Comprehensive Regional Ministerial (CRM), held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on 21-22 October 2015, to discuss key security challenges of this region. The NCI Agency General Manager, Mr Koen Gijsbers, was invited by the Croatian Minister of Defence, Mr Ante Kotromanović, to brief the conference on the Balkan Regional Approach to Air Defence (BRAAD). BRAAD is a NATO Smart Defence project with Croatia as the Lead Nation. As the General Manager was unable to attend the event, the NCI Agency was represented by the Director of Demand Management, Dr Velizar Shalamanov, and the Principal Account Manager for Nations and NATO Force Structure, Mr Xavier Desfougeres.
The NCI Agency is the technical lead for the Air Surveillance and Communications Requirements Study, part of the Balkan Regional Approach to Air Defence (BRAAD). During his presentation at the US Adriatic Ministerial, Dr Shalamanov emphasized the importance of a regional approach in providing Air Surveillance Capabilities to the Nations. The provision of the necessary radar and communications coverage will contribute to the security and safety of the region. Moreover, a regional approach allows for cost effectiveness for each individual nation in procuring air surveillance and communications capabilities.