Change of Leadership at NSPA Airlift Management Programme

14 March 2019

Former Programme Manager Awarded Highest Hungarian Honour with Alliance Merit Medal

8 March 2019 - Pápa – The end of an era and the beginning of a new one was celebrated with a formal Handover Ceremony in Pápa on 8 March. Programme Manager of NSPA’s Airlift Management Programme Mr Wiek Noldus handed over his responsibilities to Mr Gregory Clark on his last day with the Agency.

Mr Noldus spent six years as Programme Manager (PM) in Pápa, bringing the Airlift Management Programme (NAMP) from a fairly new one to a seasoned flagship of NATO Smart Defence. In 2013, when he started, NAMP offices were in containers and buildings leased from the Hungarian military. Today, NAMP is residing in a fascinating new building with a hangar complex and is looking towards further major developments.

Mr Noldus thanked the support of staff and partners during his six years as PM during the ceremony. “I want to underline that all achievement is the result of cooperation between many good people from different functional areas, nations, or expertise fields. You made it happen and keep making it happen every day!” he addressed the audience.

The Handover Ceremony was also an occasion for partners of the NAM Programme to express their thanks to the leaving PM. Brigadier General Péter Fodor of the Hungarian Defence Forces presented Mr Noldus with ‘For the Alliance Merit Medal’ on behalf of the Minister of Defence of Hungary. “This medal is the highest possible medal of merit that our country can award to a non-Hungarian citizen” said the Brigadier General while handing over the award.

Mayor of Pápa Mr Tamás Áldozó presented Mr Noldus with a ‘Pro-Publico Award’ on behalf of the town of Pápa, thanking him his service for the town over the past six years. “We know that you are now a Strategic Airlift Capability Ambassador wherever you go in the world, but I know you will also be an Ambassador of Pápa” he said.

Mr. Gregory Clark as the new Programme Manager will be responsible for the on-site support to the Heavy Airlift Wing, the operational unit of the Strategic Airlift Capability. Before assuming the position as Programme Manager of the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office, Mr. Clark was performing duties as the Programme Manager of NATO Airborne Surveillance Systems Programme at NSPA Luxembourg. 

“First and most importantly, we have a duty to sustain and maintain the Strategic Airlift Capability.  Specifically, we need provide sustained direct support and services to the Heavy Airlift Wing and contribute to its operational mission success.  This is job number one” said Mr Clark taking over, outlining his priorities as Programme Manager.

The ceremony was attended by the Staff of the NATO Airlift Management Office, who wanted to say goodbye to Mr. Noldus, and welcome Mr. Clark as their new Manager. The Commander of the Heavy Airlift Wing, Colonel Bjørn Gohn-Hellum, and the NATO Airlift Management Programme Board Chairman, Mr. Tore Kvalvik, together with other distinguished guests, such as the spouses of both Mr. Clark and Mr. Noldus, and representatives of the Host Nation Hungary, and the town of Pápa were present.