c_270_180_16777215_0_0_images_PICTURES_2019_0430_Austria_Pict1.jpg… was the slogan of the Austrian 2019 CBRN Defence Centre’s day of tradition. The day of tradition took place in KORNEUBURG/AUT on 25th April 2019. Reason for the day of tradition is the 26th April 1986, the day of the nuclear reactor catastrophe in Chernobyl, and, consequently, the follow-on missions of the Austrian CBRN defence forces.

Coat of Arms (AUT) CBRN Defence Centre

Colonel (G.S.). Jürgen Schlechter, commandant of the CBRN Defence Centre, invited. By the way among approximately 150 guests was also the former Deputy Director of the Joint CBRN Defence Centre of Excellence and current commander of the German CBRN Defence, Safety, and Environmental Protection School, Colonel Volker Quante.

In principal, the 2019 day of tradition was subdivided into two elements, a symposium with highly qualified guest speakers and a CBRN defence capability show. The programme was complemented by a military ceremony, complete with military band.

Colonel Schlechter chaired the symposium and moderated by Colonel Erwin Richter. Guest speakers were among others Brigadier Gustav Gustenau, Austrian Ministry of Defence, and Mr Lukas Mandl (Austrian People’s Party), Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Brigadier Gustenau recognized a special role of the Austrian Armed Force in the defence against hybrid threats, conflicts below the level of conventional wars. Studies, which have addressed aspects of Austrian national resiliency to a wide range of attacks, provide evidence that the Austrian population voiced high expectations of the Armed Forces. Brigadier Philipp Eder, Head of the department on military strategy within the MOD, complemented that the common hybrid threat picture includes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and pandemics. MEP Mandl briefed on „CBRN risks: an European perspective“. He valued competence and expertise of the CBRN Defence Centre providing advice whenever needed. Colonel Schlechter concluded the symposium. Military developments such as nuclear warheads with low equivalents of kilotons of trinitrotoluene (TNT) (< 0,5 [kt]), genetic engineered or synthetic pathogens, or novel chemical agents, as well as state-of-the-art means of delivery (e.g. drones) will require border-crossing CBRN defence.

In addition, Colonel Richter introduced Volume 8 of the CBRN Defence Centre’s book series „Call of cuckoo and Anti-Aircraft Community“. Volume 8 describes the history of Austrian CBRN defence from World War I until today. I would like to provide an additional explanation; during the second World War a radio „call of a cuckoo“ warned the Austrian population at about one hour prior to approaching Allied formation of bombers.

The Symposium was followed by a military ceremony and a tattoo of the Military Music Corps Lower Austria.

A CBRN defence capability show concluded CBRN Defence Centre’s day of tradition. Austrian CBRN defence forces demonstrated their capacities and capabilities along all enabling components of CBRN defence. Of course, the decontamination system MAMMOTH, based on the German Field Decontamination System (TEP 90) was presented likewise.

To summarize, the Austrian CBRN Defence Centre presented itself and its capabilities successfully to the Austrian population, but also the Austrian Armed Forces. What is left? I would like to congratulate Colonel Schlechter for having had an outstanding day of tradition and to thank him for his kind invitation.

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Colonel (G.S.) Jürgen Schlechter opens the symposium     Colonel Volker Quante and Colonel (AUT-AR) Otto Strele
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Parade Formation Decontamination system MAMMOTH

Author nad Photos: Lieutenant Colonel Bernd ALLERT, (DEU-AR)