“ NAMSA wants to fill the gap”
NATO is consolidating, but its Luxembourg-based logistics agency expects to grow. Interview: Aaron Grunwald — Photo: David Laurent/Wide
This summer NATO ministers agreed on a major reform programme, which will see four of the military alliance’s 11 European bases close, civilian staffing reduced from 13,000 to below 9,000, and the number of support agencies cut from 14 to four. One of those agencies, the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), has been based in Luxembourg since the 1950s and today employs more than 1,200. Despite the overall savings push, NAMSA’s general manager says the logistics agency will actually grow. Antonios Chatzidakis, a retired Greek general, expects to start hiring at the beginning of next year. AG: Will NATO’s efficiency drive have a significant impact on your agency? AC: NAMSA is the biggest, and I would say financially the strongest, organisation in NATO. It will be the core element of the agency reform. Actually, it will give the opportunity to NAMSA to improve its business processes, its business directives, to reconsider and to modernise some management tools. Not because these have not been identified in the past, but now because of the atmosphere, everybody strongly believes that it should happen. Because other programmes will join NAMSA, in general NAMSA will increase; increase in the number of people located in Luxembourg. AG: Will you be hiring from within NATO? AC: The recruitment process is open to everybody; you cannot predict who
Antonios Chatzidakis: embracing reform
will apply. It might be people from other agencies, it might be people from outside, it might be people from anywhere within the NATO nations. AG: What new roles will NAMSA take on? AC: We expect solutions friendly to the environment will have a place in the future. We expect that old weapons systems in the European countries will need to be dismantled and destroyed. AG: What environmental projects are you developing? AC: Today we spend millions of euro on fuel. It is one of the main cost drivers for an operation. Fuel is spent on transportation, of course, but also a big part is dedicated to satisfying power
and heating requirements. The technology now is quite [sufficient] to replace the heating and electrical demands with solar or wind generators. Technology has very much improved for the protection and storage of some very hazardous materials that sometimes are used. All this forms a package, and NAMSA wants to take on the maintenance of this package. AG: Who is in charge of those functions now? AC: Nobody! Officially, everybody is talking about green solutions, everybody is talking about environmental protection, but there is nothing which can guarantee that the maintenance of the systems is well done. So NAMSA wants to fill the gap there.
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23.09.2011 10:07:40 Uhr