Poland has joined the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine
The staff of the MILMED COE currently consists of delegates from 12 member states: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great-Britain, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, United States of America and the newly joined Poland.
Brigadier General dr. Dirk-Friedrich Klagges, Director of the MILMED COE gave a speech at the event, emphasizing that the organization’s main resource is the delegated experts from the member states and the importance of the Centre is well illustrated by the fact that the COE includes the NATO’s most active nations, especially in the field of military medicine. Thus, the accession of Poland is both a timely and natural step, as Polish experts have been actively involved in the work of the COE for many years.
Poland announced its intention to join in 2019, and then, without waiting for a formal agreement, delegated a senior officer, Lt Col Przemek Romelczyk to NATO MILMED COE as a voluntary national contribution. It was a particularly valuable gesture, especially in light of the fact that Poland made this sacrifice while not having a say in the decisions of the Steering Committee until the accession. Therefore, the leadership of the organization has decided to celebrate the generous contribution of Poland and the formalization of its accession on 5 May with the ceremonial raising of the Polish flag, with which now Poland can finally take its rightful place in the MILMED COE family.
István Szabó, Secretary of State for Defense representing Hungary as the framework nation of the MILMED COE gave a speech, in which he emphasized that the accession of Poland is another good example of the centuries-old tradition of Polish-Hungarian defense cooperation and at the same time an important milestone for the Centre, to which experts from one of the NATO’s largest and most experienced armies will be delegated, and which will also increase its recognition.
Dr. Aurelia Ostrowska, Head of the Polish MoD Military Health Service Department thanked Hungary and the leadership of NATO MILMED COE for their support during the accession process and emphasized that the importance of military medicine was only reinforced by the current fight against the pandemic and expressed her satisfaction that the MILMED COE could now stand in this fight with Poland on its side.
The event was held in a small circle in view of the current pandemic situation. The members of the Polish delegation appeared: dr. Jerzy Snopek, Ambassador of Poland in Hungary; Colonel Tomasz Trzciński, Military Attache of Poland in Hungary; dr. Aurelia Ostrowska, Head of the Polish MoD Military Health Service Department; Colonel dr. Emil Lisiak, Member of the Steering Committee; Lieutenant Colonel Bogusław Kołdys, Polish Police Liaison Officer in Hungary and Lieutenant Colonel Tomasz Kordaszewski from NFIU Hungary, Székesfehérvár. The Hungarian side was represented by István Szabó, Secretary of State for Defense and Major General dr. István Kopcsó, Commander of the Medical Centre of the Hungarian Defence Forces.
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