On 26th October 2021, the JCBRN Defence COE celebrated its 15-year anniversary of the activation as a NATO military international organization in the Czech Republic.

We were very honored by the presence of numerous dignitaries at the celebration, including the new Director of NATO Arms Control disarmament, and WMD Nonproliferation Centre (ACDC), Dr Wendin Smith; Deputy Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, Mr Jan Havránek; First Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Jaromír Zůna; Director of Fire Rescue Service, Major General Vladimír Vlcek; Allied Command Transformation COE Flag Officer/General Officer (FOGO) Champion, Brigadier General Didier Polome; high level representatives of the Sponsoring Nations and Contributing Partner; and local military and civilian authorities.

The first part of the celebration was official event recognizing the achievements of the centre and its support to the North Atlantic Alliance. This part also included a tree planting in honour of this great occasion. The tree, a Linden tree, symbolizes the roots of this great centre, its continued growth, and the outstanding support from the Czech Republic. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, learn, and change. The second part of the celebration was the official opening of the centre pictures exhibition, which showcased the history and activities of the centre over the last 15 years.

The Centre is and will continue to be centre of gravity for CBRN defence-related expertise, experience and transformation within the Alliance without duplicating or competing with already existing NATO capabilities.

As we look forward to the next decade, we are more prepared today than we have ever been to provide support to the Alliance while meeting the challenges of an ever changing world.

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Author: CPT Zuzana Králíková, (CZE-A)

Photos: LTC Pavel Šebesta, (CZE-A)