The 2011 Blue Helmet Forum Austria dealt with the various aspects of international disaster relief and the spe-cial cooperation between civilian organisations, UN or-ganisations and the military, as well as their cooperation before, during and after disasters.
The National Defence Academy is the supreme train-ing and research institution of the Austrian Armed Forces. We train officers in leadership and command at the battal-ion and brigade levels and above, Higher Quartermasters and Legal Advisers and future General Staff officers. We aim to provide the officers with the skills and qualities necessary for them to meet any present or future chal-lenges. Concerning the motto of this year’s Forum, it is important to mention that as part of its higher officer train-ing courses, the National Defence Academy also covers aspects such as disaster relief, military challenges during assistance operations, and aspects of Civil-Military Coop-eration.
In this, special emphasis is put on operational rele-vance. This helps commanders to successfully approach both disaster relief and the cooperation with other aid or-ganisations. It also enables them to take timely and appro-priate command measures. It is important in this context that also commanders train how to work and interact with other organisations and how to stress the military’s poten-tial in assistance operations. This, of course, means pro-viding personnel and security - security for the civilian personnel and the relief goods.
In the training and preparation of disaster relief opera-tions, the National Defence Academy is therefore firmly integrated nationally and internationally. In this we are supported by the fact that many of the Academy’s teachers and researchers have been part of such operations either as commanders, or in expert functions. We can thus combine the best practical experience with the best research.
As Commandant of the National Defence Academy I find it very positive that most experienced and senior rep-resentatives of national and international organisations as well as military commanders analyse aspects of opera-tional command and control within the framework of dis-aster relief in this volume. This is a topic of particular relevance at a time when the world sees more and more human suffering as a result of man-made or natural disas-ters. Concrete operations of the Austrian, Pakistani and U.S. Armed Forces are presented, as well as the opera-tional planning of the EU Military Staff. All these practi-cal presentations focus especially on the cooperation of ci-vilian and military aid organisations.
Lieutenant General Erich Csitkovits,
Commandant of the National Defence Academy.
If you are interested in this publication please let us know and we will send you it in pdf or as booklet.