During the visit CSM Saliste was welcomed by CSM Drazen Klanjec, CSEL of the Croatian Armed Forces, before speaking to senior enlisted leaders from nations represented in the Adriatic Charter including leaders from Allies Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, the United States and hosts Croatia along with partner nations Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
"Each nation, each leader involved in this course can benefit from this type of face-to-face engagement, to help build upon and improve the NCO corps of their forces, some of whom are our newest Allies like Montenegro and North Macedonia," said CSM Saliste. "The Southeast of Europe is an important area of responsibility for the Alliance and having a ready and cohesive team of CSELs here can only better support our allied objectives."
The Southeast of Europe is an important area of responsibility for the Alliance and having a ready and cohesive team of CSELs here can only better support our allied objectives
The Adriatic Charter is an association formed by Albania, Croatia, North Macedonia and the United States for the purpose of supporting their attempts to join NATO.
The signing of the Charter reinforced the United States' support for NATO's Open-Door Policy towards aspiring new members in southeast Europe.
After admitting two new members, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the foreign ministers meeting in Finland in December 2008, the Charter expanded its activities and revised its name to A-5 symbolic of the number of southeast European countries involved.
"The A5 CSEL Course is a product of the Adriatic Charter CSEL's meeting held as part of the Chiefs of Defence conference in 2016," said CSM Klanjec. "The course began in 2017 with the goal of strengthening relationships and interoperability amongst the enlisted corps in Southeastern Europe. Each year we work together to improve our forces through the two-week course building upon previous years, sharing experiences and expanding our networks."
Croatia joined NATO as a member in April 2009 and currently contributes to missions including the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups in both Poland and Lithuania, as well as Operation Sea Guardian and Kosovo Force (KFOR).