UK takes over Presidency at Summer Congress in Quebec City

August 10, 2018 – Quebec, CIOR Public Affairs.

By: U.S. Air Force Reserve Senior Airman Justin Fuchs.

Canada hosted the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) and Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve  Officers (CIOMR) annual Summer Congress from August 3 to 10, in Quebec City, Canada.

Founded in 1948 and officially recognised by  NATO in 1976, CIOR provides advice on the best use of reservists and improves the knowledge of NATO authorities about national reserve forces. CIOR mainly meets twice a year, at the Summer Congress rotating between member countries and at the Mid Winter Meeting in Brussels.

– An honour to host the CIOR Summer Congress

“It is an honor to once again host the CIOR/CIOMR Summer Congress,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Canadian Minister of National Defence. “Through our defence policy, strong, secure, engaged, our Government has committed to further integrating reservists into the total force and providing it with sufficient numbers, training, preparation, and equipment to be ready to contribute to operations at home and abroad. I am proud that our CAF reservists are joining our international partners to discuss common Reserve Force issues, such as contribution to international operations, training and employer support.”

The activities of the 2018 CIOR Summer Congress have been held in several locations around Quebec City, including the Québec Citadel, CAF Base Valcartier and the Pointe-à-Carcy Naval Reserve. The 2nd Canadian Division has provided the personnel and facilities required, welcoming all participants and guests to the various activities and ensuring this international event runs smoothly.

– Good opportunity to demonstrate Canada’s professionalism

“I am pleased to be a part of such a special event that brings nations together, develops important cross-cultural dialogues and provides a forum for collaborative approaches to common problems,” said Major-General P.J. Bury, Chief of Reserves and Employer Support. “Hosting and participating in CIOR Summer Congress 2018 is a good opportunity for us to demonstrate the professionalism of Canada’s Reserve forces and the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.”

More than 23 nations participated in discussions on prominent issues related to military reserves including the contribution of reserve forces to international operations, reserve training, education and employer support.

Forging links between reserve officers of many different nations

This annual Summer Congress provided an opportunity for participating nations to forge links between military reserve officers, share best practices, develop viewpoints on issues in support of the NATO alliance, and foster reserve officer professional development.

“The 2nd Canadian Division and the Joint Task Force (East) are proud to welcome and take part in the CIOR Summer Congress in Quebec City,” said Brigadier-General Jennie Carignan, Commander, 2nd Canadian Division. “This is an excellent opportunity to share our Reserve Force’s significant contributions with our allies, take active part in discussions to improve our common practices, and foster our reservists’ professional development. This excellent forum for new ideas and innovative concepts will allow us to continue building a strong and operationally focused Reserve Force.”

Military Competition central to Summer Congress

An integral component of the Summer Congress was a three-day military competition where more than 150 reservists from 23 countries tested their skills in marksmanship, military navigation, land and water obstacle courses, hand grenade throwing, combat first aid knowledge, and the application of the Law of Armed Conflict. Established in 1957, MILCOMP is an internationally recognised competition focused on military skills that challenge the leadership and physical fitness of reservists from different nations.

The Summer Congress ended with closing ceremonies and a gala dinner for all those who attended before dismissal until the Mid Winter Meeting.

The UK took the Presidency of CIOR from the closing of the Summer Congress 2018 till 2020 after a most successful summer congress for which I thank our Canadian friends.

Fundamental shift

– The UK Presidency marks a fundamental shift in the way CIOR does business, says president, UK Army Colonel Chris Argent (R). – For the first time in many years there is certainty as to the next 6 years presidencies (UK, Germany and Estonia) and the UK Presidency will work towards formulating long term strategies and plans looking ahead over this period.

– The UK is a nation committed to the use of Reserves as part of an integrated Defence Force and many thousands of Reservists have served and indeed still are serving in Afghanistan Iraq and other missions around the world. Reservists not only bring their military skills which are placed at the nation’s use but have their civilian and careers enriched by their military commitment, Argent said.

Focussing on the Young Reserve Officer

CIOR provides the opportunity for Reservists of 34 nations to come together in a range of activities intended both to increase personal development, aid retention and improve the quality and breadth of reserve service and also to develop and inform stakeholder nations’ knowledge of Reserves and disseminate best practice. In particular the theme of the UK Presidency ”The Young Reserve Officer” recognises the dialogue needed to attract, train, retain and develop the young leaders of tomorrow’s Reserves.

– I am honoured to have been chosen to lead the UK Presidency. The presidency is ground breaking for being in effect a collaboration between the UK and Estonia, with nearly half of the team being found from our allies. This chimes with the UK’s already close relationship with Estonia in providing ground forces to the Eastern Flank of NATO, Argent emphasized.

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