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11 12 2021

Meet NCI Agency Principal Technician Mikel Ward

Mikel Ward has been at the forefront of supporting technical projects for NATO during the past 15 years.

As a Principal Technician at the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), Ward provides advanced engineering support to the NATO exercises, including the Steadfast series. The remote network modules he provided were crucial to ensuring that the NATO Response Force (NRF) could be certified to conduct NATO operations.

Meet NCI Agency Principal Technician Mikel Ward

Many NCI Agency-led projects have benefited from having Ward's experience and ability to resolve complex issues.

For his dedicated service to the Alliance, Ward was recently awarded NATO's highest honour, the Meritorious Service Medal by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

We took the opportunity to ask Ward a few questions.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your time with the NCI Agency?

Working with Deployable Communications and Information Systems (DCIS) requires a large degree of flexibility and the ability to rapidly respond to evolving developments. The largest challenge I have faced during my time with the Agency has been the initial communications and information services requirement for the NATO Mission in Iraq. This requirement covered multiple locations, each with their own constantly evolving technical and force security concerns. My contribution to this project focused on leading the physical integration of the equipment, including transposing the designs produced by engineers, into wiring diagrams and supervising the build of the DCIS systems. The teamwork displayed by everyone involved in this project allowed us to adapt the solution as needed to ensure the delivered services would meet the operational requirements.

What advice would you have for someone starting out at NATO?

The most important advice I could give to someone starting out with NATO is to remain open-minded and to embrace, understand, and remember the fundamental goals of NATO as a whole: To guarantee the freedom and security of the people of its member states.

How important is the work that you have been doing for NATO and why?

My work at CIS Sustainment Support Centre (CSSC) directly supports the operational requirements of NATO. I have been deployed on NATO operations seven times in support of DCIS equipment. The CSSC as a whole provides critical support to all missions carried out by the Alliance, as well as many NATO and joint exercises scheduled throughout the year. In this respect, working at CSSC, I am never too far from the operational side of NATO, which means lots of motivation and pressure to get the job done on time and to specifications.

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