On 30 January, the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters, Assistant Chief of Staff J6, Commodore A J Adams and his Deputy for Operations, Colonel Mike Dooley, were hosted by the NCI Agency Chief of Staff, Major General Luis Andrey and Director Operations, Brigadier General Luigi Tomaiuolo.
The delegation received a wide range of detailed briefings from the NCI Agency Subject Matter Experts as well as NATO's vision on operations from NATO HQ Operations Division. The main theme for the visit was to understand NATO and the NCI Agency's role in operations beyond 2014, particularly in Afghanistan, and how this fits with UK's overall strategy. Furthermore the visitors reiterated their commitment to the UK´s NATO First Policy.
The UK was one of the first nations to officially implement this policy, which involves the scrutiny of all UK programmes and projects to see if there are appropriate NATO tools or software that are already in use and could be used to meet the aims of the programme or project. The NATO First solution is also a key element of our strategic partnership with the UK in supporting the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps certification process in the NATO Response Force planning cycle. All those involved in the visit felt that it was very productive.
"It was a very useful update for us on a range of subjects and I was reassured that the UK plans for Afghanistan, and our FOC+ aspirations, all seemed to be broadly aligned with planning in the Agency." - Commodore A J Adams