Chairman of the NATO military committee praises Australia

SIDNEY, Australia - On August 4 Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, concluded his official visit to Australia, upon invitation from the Australian Military Authorities.

Welcomed by Lt. Gen. David Hurley, the Acting Chief of Defence, Di Paola first met with the chiefs of services and senior officials from the Department of Defense, discussing common strategic issues including Afghanistan and geopolitical developments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Later, he met with the representatives of government departments which have civilians deployed to Uruzgan Province working with the Afghan government. He took the opportunity to praise the Australian contingent, the largest non-NATO contributor to International Security Assistance Force operations, for the highly valuable job they are performing in Afghanistan.

The chairman also gave a lecture at the Australian National University in Canberra on the New Strategic Concept and the relationship with global partners.

At the center of discussion was the need for NATO to work together with strategic partners like Australia, given that Euro-Atlantic security is more and more interconnected to Euro-Asian and Asian-Pacific regions.

"In this new context”, said Di Paola, "because of the vulnerabilities created by globalization and the rapid pace at which it occurred, it is all the more essential for us to maintain global connectivity if we are to successfully tackle 21st Century challenges and trends. NATO is but one of the actors on the global security stage and needs to work in tandem with others.”

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VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Republic of Georgia-In front of a color detail with the national colors of America and the Republic of Georgia and the unit colors of the U.S. Marine Corps and Georgian military, Maj. Eric J. Andersen, executive officer Black Sea Rotational Force 11 and Kent, Wash., native,  â?forms the troops for the opening ceremony of Exercise Agile Spirit 2011, marking the official start of what is scheduled to be an annual training event with the partner nation. Marines with Alpha Company of Anti-Terrorism Battalion, and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion deployed to Georgia for their annual training to supplement the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployment of BSRF-11, to conduct counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations training at Vaziani Training Area. , Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda

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