… as part of “reinforced NATO surveillance activities”
Portugal’s Minister of Defense said today in Santarém that preparations have begun for sending a Rifle Company and a detachment of special forces to Romania, as “part of NATO’s Enhanced Surveillance Activities”.
Helena Carreiras was speaking at the Army Day military ceremony, held today at Campo Emílio Infante da Câmara, in Santarém – an event that included a parade and demonstration of capabilities of the Army’s Operational Component.
According to the minister, Portugal will also participate in the future European Union training mission to Ukraine “given the training needs identified by Ukrainian forces and the importance of the land component in this war scenario.
“The volatile situation in Eastern Europe and the threat that the Russian Federation represents in the short and medium term for the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic area, represents an aspect already taken care of in the Directive for Planning, the new cycle of deployed national forces, which I issued this week,” she said.
Helena Carreiras stressed that “established priorities will reflect the new focuses of international tension, reducing dispersion in non-priority areas, but without forgetting the attention due to the Southern Flank,” as stipulated in the “commitment to a 360º approach to security, contained in NATO’s new Strategic Concept”.
Right now, the Army has “474 military personnel committed to National Forces, in very diverse contexts of conflict”, she said, highlighting “the growing opportunities at command level that Portugal has assumed in these international missions.
“Regardless of the need to reconcile different theatres of operations that are increasingly complex, I am certain that the Army will continue to play a central role as we also proceed with planning for the future European Union training mission to Ukraine, which we strongly support and in which we will certainly participate,” she said.
According to the minister, “the renewed centrality of this type of conflict and the implications arising from it” will be included in national strategic planning, particularly in the Strategic Concept of National Defence, for which “a review process is underway and is expected to end in 2023, advancing a new ambitious vision for National Defence”.
Army Day celebrates the capture of Lisbon in 1147 by the troops of D. Afonso Henriques – the Army’s Patron. Santarém was the base of the now defunct Cavalry Practical School (EPC).