NATO provides swift forest fire assistance to new Ally Montenegro
NATO Allies and partners are providing aircraft and helicopters to help Montenegro deal with forest fires in the Lustica peninsula. Montenegro approached NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) for assistance on Monday (17 July 2017), and the request was immediately circulated to NATO Allies and partners. A Ukrainian fire-fighting aircraft Antonov 32P has been in Montenegro since Tuesday, and two helicopters – contributed by Bulgaria and Switzerland – arrived in Montenegro on Wednesday. Two more fire-fighting aircraft will be deployed from Israel in the coming days.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the assistance today, saying: “I welcome that Allies and partners came forward in a matter of hours to help Montenegro deal with its devastating forest fires. Montenegro is our newest Ally, having joined the NATO family just over a month ago. Our rapid response demonstrates that we stand with our Allies. This is what Euro-Atlantic solidarity is all about.”
The EADRCC is NATO’s principal civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic area. It is active all year round, operational on a 24/7 basis, and involves NATO’s 29 Allies and all partner countries. The Centre functions as a clearing-house system for coordinating both requests and offers of assistance mainly in case of natural and man-made disasters. More information is available here: www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_52057.htm.