Lieutenant General A. Schnitger, Commander-in-Chief RNLAF, visits the NAM Programme Office at Pápa Airbase

22 October 2012

On 10 October 2012, Lieutenant General A. Schnitger, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, visited Pápa Airbase in Hungary. Formerly the Defence Staff Director of Operational Plans and Policy, Lt Gen Schnitger was appointed Commander-in-Chief RNLAF on 9 March 2012.

This was Lt Gen Schnitger's first visit to Pápa Air Base, the purpose being for him to be briefed on the current status of the SAC Programme. Col Rombouts (RNLAF) gave a presentation on the programme's successes, challenges and opportunities and explained that this relatively new programme is gaining recognition as an exemple of Pooling & Sharing, Smart Defence and Smart Support. Experts from the Heavy Airlift Wing and the NAM Programme Office attended to provide additional information. Lt Gen Schnitger took the opportunity to provide the Dutch contingent with an update on reorganizations within the Netherlands Forces.

Both the SAC Main Operating Base and most of the facilities of the NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme Office are located at Pápa Airbase. Under the SAC Memorandum of Understanding, the NAM Programme Office is responsible for acquiring, managing and supporting airlift assets on behalf of the SAC participating nations. The aircraft are owned collectively by the NAM Programme participating nations and operated by a multinational military structure – the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), for which the NAM Programme provides financial, logistics and administrative services. These strategic lift aircraft are used to meet both national requirements and NATO, EU, UN and other multinational commitments. The participants include ten NATO nations (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States) and two Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations (Finland and Sweden).