Azerbaijan joins critical NATO interoperability evaluation with Qatar

    POLITICS  20 June 2024 - 09:12

    From June 9 to 13, Azerbaijan took a significant step in enhancing its military interoperability and cooperation with NATO.

    Experts from Azerbaijan joined forces with NATO representatives from Allied Air Command Ramstein and Joint Forces Command Naples to assist the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) in evaluating a C-130 Air Transport Unit's interoperability within the framework of Alliance operations, Caliber.Az reports citing NATO Allied Air Command.

    This evaluation is part of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), a NATO partnership established to promote long-term global and regional security by engaging non-NATO countries in the broader Middle East region. Azerbaijan's involvement underscores its commitment to strengthening ties with NATO and enhancing its capabilities alongside global partners.

    In 2022, two of Qatar's C-130 Hercules transport aircraft were added to the NATO pool of forces, making them available for potential support in Alliance missions. The recent evaluation in Qatar aimed to test the unit’s ability to operate under various threat conditions, including extreme temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

    The evaluation team, which included 15 experts from Azerbaijan, 15 from NATO, and 15 Qatari evaluators, provided a comprehensive and challenging scenario for the QEAF. This rigorous self-evaluation (SEL) 2 was conducted under the Operational Capability Concept Evaluation and Feedback Programme (OCC E&F), designed to align Partner forces with NATO standards.

    Captain Abdulla Albaker, the leader of the Qatari Evaluation team, expressed pride in his team’s performance, highlighting the support received from the NATO team. "It was challenging and demanding, and we had to push hard to meet the required standards and capabilities of the 101 Sqn. But we got all the support needed by the NATO Team. Now we are looking forward to the last test – the NATO evaluation in November – that will certify us as fully capable to readily work with Allied forces once deployed," he said.

    Azerbaijan's participation in this evaluation marks a vital step in its ongoing collaboration with NATO, enhancing its military's interoperability and readiness. This joint effort reflects NATO's broader mission to foster relationships, share best practices, and enhance mutual support among its members and partners. NATO's Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) play a crucial role in this mission, focusing on developing skills, knowledge, and interoperability to enable effective collaboration in times of crisis, such as natural disasters.

    Azerbaijan's involvement in the evaluation not only strengthens its military capabilities but also reinforces its position as a key partner in regional and global security initiatives. As NATO continues to build and maintain relationships with over 40 Partner Nations and international organizations, such collaborative efforts are essential for ensuring a more secure and stable international community.

    Caliber.Az

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