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15 February 2016

General Van Caelenberge: Modern Threats Require Adapted Response

General Gérard Van Caelenberge, Chief of Defence of the Kingdom of Belgium and Sven Sakkov, Director of the  NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence

Joining the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence significantly enhances Belgian national capabilities, says General Gérard Van Caelenberge, the Chief of Defence of the Kingdom of Belgium. He was today briefed at the Tallinn-based knowledge hub as part of his visit to Estonia.

“Modern threats require an adapted response, both in the real and in the virtual world,” emphasizes General Gérard Van Caelenberge, Chief of Defence of the Kingdom of Belgium. “The expertise at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence offers the opportunity to address these new challenges more efficiently. Belgium has recently expressed the intention to join the Centre and staffing to finalise this cooperation is ongoing. This participation is very important as it will significantly enhance the further development and expansion of our national capabilities,” General Van Caelenberge added.

“The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is growing. Besides Belgium, Sweden is set to become a member,” noted Sven Sakkov, Director of the Tallinn-based think tank and training facility. “20 participating nations makes us the biggest amongst similar knowledge hubs. This is not about numbers but about the growing importance of cyber,” Sakkov emphasized.

In late 2015, the Kingdom of Belgium decided to join the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence as a Sponsoring Nation. The think tank and training facility focuses on interdisciplinary applied research and development, as well as consultations, trainings and exercises in the field of cyber security. Membership of the Centre is open to all Allies. The Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the USA have signed on as sponsoring nations. Austria and Finland have joined the Centre as contributing participants. The Centre is funded and staffed by these member nations.

Pictures of the visit can be found on the Estonian Defence Forces website  (Photo credit: Ardi Hallismaa, Estonian Defence Forces).