NATO skywatch

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NATO skywatch
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Skywatch magazine
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization skywatch
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NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen skywatch
Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (Geilenkirchen, Germany) ( issuing body )
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Periodicals -- NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen ( lcsh )
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Volume 22, No. 9 NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen 12 May 2006 Next NATO Skywatch: 2 June Submissions due by: 25 May Also in this issue:Canadians honour fallen comrades See page 3. Prepared for a safe spring and summer? See Safety Corner on page 4. Text and photos NSTU The E-3A Component along with local communities celebrated the International Childrens Festival (ICF) 2006 in the Astra Theatre on 23 April. Lt. Col. Deniz Kartepe opened the activities with a speech, highlighting the historical background and meaning of the childrens day. Unlike the Fathers, Mothers or Valentines Days, we do not have to buy anything on this day. We just encourage our children to show their talent, perform and express themselves. We also give them a chance to meet different cultures and appreciate differences. We firmly believe that a better future with peace and harmony can only be achieved by bringing children from different ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds together. Following the opening speech, spectators had the privilege to witness exquisite selections of Turkish folk dances. International Youth Activities enriched the celebrations with their ballet show. The Canadian taekwondo group was another interesting event. 350 Paintings from 65 different local schools and Component members children were exhibited and the winners selected by the Graphics Office were awarded with different presents and an Appreciation Letter from E-3A Component Commander Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Schmidt, who presented himself the awards to the 4-6 Age Group winners. Outdoor activities included the F-16 Flight Simulator, Jumping Castle and the Inflatable Slide and Face Painting. A Free Barbeque, Cotton Candy and Popcorn were well appreciated by the youngsters. Also they received a free Festival T-Shirt. Besides being a fun event ICF also provide a unique opportunity for children to meet and become acquainted with other cultures. The festival committee hopes to have more multi cultural harmony with the participation of all the nations. Special thanks to MWA, IYA, Graphics Office, NATEX, Security Squadron, Medical Squadron, Airfield Services Squadron, Fire Brigade, PIO, NSTU, NSUS ,NSCA, NSBE, NSGE, NSUIT, NSPO, for their contribution and efforts in making the International Childrens Festival an outstanding success.International Childrens Festival provides a platform for children Dance and music were the themes during the very successful International Childrens Festival.


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New chapter for NATO in Afghanistan The Headquarters of NATOs Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) took command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on 4 May at a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, spearheading international efforts to support the Government of Afghanistan in ensuring security, stability and redevelopment in the country. The UK-led ARRC took over from the Italian-led NATO Rapid Deployable Corps which played a key role last year in providing a safe and secure environment for the first parliamentary and provincial council elections to be held in Afghanistan for 36 years. The Commander of the ARRC, Lieutenant General David Richards speaking at the ceremony said: We are fully prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead for NATO in Afghanistan. ISAFs main effort will be to extend and deepen the areas in which the Government of Afghanistan, international and non governmental agencies can safely operate. Expanded role The change of command also marks an expansion of NATOs role in Afghanistan. A revised operational plan for the NATO-led mission now comes into effect, paving the way for a larger ISAF footprint in the country, additional Provincial Reconstruction Teams and enhanced operational training support to the Afghan National Army. ISAF will also support the Afghan Government in the disarmament of illegally armed groups and within limits Afghan and internationallysanctioned counter-narcotics efforts. The next stage of this plan known as Stage 3 will see NATOs area of operations expanding this summer to include six additional provinces in the south of the country: Day Kundi, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul. The number of NATO-led forces is also set to rise from approximately 9,000 now to about 15,000. As ISAF expands its operation into the south General Richards said he will not hesitate to use appropriate measures against those disruptive elements opposed to democracy and the rule of law in Afghanistan, including military force if necessary. Text and photo Capt. Gareth Carter The day after four Canadian peacekeepers were killed in Afghanistan, four Canadian airmen honoured two fallen RCAF aircrew members killed in WW2. Every year on the third weekend in April, the people of Roermond, The Netherlands, pay tribute to nine aircrew shot down and nine members of the local Dutch Resistance killed in WW2. The Canadian Contingent here once again provided four volunteers for the annual ceremony to represent the two RCAF airmen buried in the Roermond (Kapel In T Zand) Roman Catholic Communal Cemetery. One of the airmen, Flying Officer Robert Goodwin, was a Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner with 419 Squadron when the Halifax Bomber he was flying in was shot down 25 June, 1943. Also buried there, Flight Sergeant Stuart MacLennan was an Air Gunner with 76 Squadron (RAF) when the Halifax bomber he was flying in was shot down 31 August, 1943. Both were buried in the civilian cemetery by the partisans to protect them from interference from the Germans occupying the town at the time. They are both laid to rest alongside the Royal Air Force members they were flying with who also died in the crash. The special guest at the annual event was Mrs Anja Leijssen, a spry 84 year old who joined the local Dutch Resistance movement as soon as she turned 18. An active member, and captured at least once before the end of the war, she managed to escape and was tending the graves of the nine airmen buried in the cemetery even before the end of the war. After the war, she felt the sacrifices of the British and Canadian airmen should be remembered and every year since, with the help of the local chapter of the Dutch Wapenbroeders (Dutch equivalent of the Royal Canadian Legion) she has organized the remembrance ceremony that still happens to this day. In 2004, retired Dutch Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Jacobsz decided she had done her part and he and the Wapenbroeders moved from supporting the ceremony to organizing it entirely. Even though has now stepped into retirement, she still attends the ceremony every year. The 2006 ceremony started with the local Dutch Catholic Bishop and two RAF Chaplains saying prayers to honour those fallen in the past and those that face danger even today all over the world. As Dutch troops deploy to support the NATO ISAF mission in Afghanistan and after the recent deaths of several Canadian troops there, this was a particularly poignant moment for the four Canadians attending the ceremony. After the dedications, the assembled, including local Dutch people and family members of the RAF Contingent of Joint Force Headquarters Brunssum, moved to the side of the cemetery where the fallen airmen were buried. During the ceremony, an officer from the force of each airmen buried there stood behind the respective Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone. Following the Words of Remembrance, the lone bugler played Last Post to the silent crowd. The RAF senior officer, Group Captain Malcolm laid a wreath and children from the local primary school placed a small flower in front of each grave. After Reveille, the procession moved around the cemetery where the school children laid a flower at each grave of the nine Dutch resistance members buried there. Once the ceremony was over those assembled were invited to a local caf for coffee and cake. Lt. Col. Jacobsz thanked the Canadians for coming and invited all to attend the ceremony in 2007. Group Captain Malcolm also thanked the Canadians and pointed out it was nice to see them in blue instead of green. May that long continue! he said. And may Canadian airmen long attend this important ceremony. 12 May 2006 NATOSkywatch 3 NATO Skywatch is an authorized, unofficial commercial enterprise newspaper published under exclusive written agreement with the NAEW & CF E-3A Component by Pollaert Mediacenter, Postbus1234, 6040 KE Roermond, +31 (475) 370 280. Opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the official views of, or endorsement by, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitutean endorsement by NATO of the products or services advertised. Submissions are due seven days before publication and may be edited for style and space. Send articles and classified advertisements to the NAEWF E-3A Component Public Information Office (PIO), Postfach 433007, D-52511 Geilenkirchen, or base distribution Mail Stop 33. Call PIO at (02451) 632480 or fax (02451) 7936 or e-mail For paid advertisements call Hub Durlinger Media at +31 (46) 452-9292 or fax +31 (46) 452-9285. Articles may be reproduced after permission has been obtained from the editor, provided mention is made of NATO Skywatch. Commander Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Schmidt Chief, Public Information Office Capt. Robert A. Firman Editor SMSgt. Johan Hijmenberg Volume 22, No. 912 May 2006 Canadians honour fallen comrades Airmen honour their fallen comrades from WW2.


By Arnaud Verhagen Nonke Buusjke (uncles stretch of wood) is a true image of the work and lifestyle of 19th century man here in the villages of Limburg. There is an old fashioned bakery where vlaai (fruit pie) and bread are still baked regularly. There is also an old carpenters workshop and a shoemakers premises, complete with all the tools, which the craftsmen once used. The completely furnished washhouse has, among other things, an antiquated washing contraption. The women of yesteryear had no need of a home-trainer. They got enough exercise by just doing their daily chores, using these cumbersome appliances. Country air When the fruit on the trees is ripe, thats the time to light the fire under the large copper treacle kettle in the stoking house. The true old-fashioned way of turning apples and pears into treacle is still done in the same way today. A tour of Nonke Buusjke not only brings you into contact with utensils of days long gone, it even returns you to days long gone. The country air, a smell almost forgotten, the tranquillity, the cheerful chirping of the birds, are all elements which are associated with uncles stretch of wood. Listen to nature The driving force behind Nonke Buusjke was Thei Berkers, who died in 2001. He devoted his heart and sole to this, his Gods little acre, on the edge of the Schinveld woods. Thei often said: This has nothing to do with a hobby, its a message that I wish to bring across to people. What I really want and a feeling deep inside tells me Im right is to awaken people and point out that it is high time that they ask themselves just what they are doing. In our present productive society, the joy of working for ones daily bread has, for many, been lost forever. People today are trained as specialists and designated to work for the rest of their lives in some corner or other. As compensation, they take up a hobby or even turn to gardening. The people of the past got their pleasure from their work, witnessing something new each day. Its this last mentioned which you feel as you wander around in Nonke Buusjke. Opening hours are May until October, Saturday and Sunday from 1400 until 1700. Schools, organizations or other groups larger than 20 persons may phone for an appointment at another day in the week, tel. 0031 (0)45 5252286/5640782. Admission is 1 per person; coffee, tea: 1 per cup/glass; or fresh flan 1 per piece. Address: Heringsweg 5a, Schinveld, for more information and itinerary look at, email: Fruit pies come directly out the 19th century bakery. Directions: Drive to the market in Schinveld for parking your car, then by foot via A ge Water and Past. Greymansstraat to the Heringsweg; follow the gravelled path until Nonke Buusjke. Access also via Niederbusch; follow the Heringsweg until a sign directs you to Nonke Buusjke. 4NATOSkywatch 12 May 2006Nonke Buusjke in Schinveld shows the past of Limburg Linger a while among the trees Enjoy some coffee, if you please Perhaps some fruit pie, its oven fresh If not, just sit and rest the weary flesh. We experienced a long, cold winter at the Component. Only recently, has spring begun to blossom. Longer days, flowers, and the leaves in the trees are now appearing. Bicyclists and motorcyclists are taking to the streets, people are getting out and enjoying dining at the outdoor cafs, and many of us are coming out of our winter hibernation and beginning to lead a less sedentary lifestyle. Are you prepared for a safe spring and summer? Many will be taking to the Autobahns (as a non-German speaker, Ive concluded autobahn loosely translates to constructionzone) for summer vacations. Many will be working out harder as part of the Components fitness concept, and for most of us our days will be filled with more and more outdoor activities. All of these activities can leave us drained, both mentally and physically, when we come back to work. And since many of our jobs contain hazards or have the potential to impact flight safety, we must plan to be safe not only at work but also off work. Being safe at work is pretty easy, as we have definitive guidelines, training, and supervisors and co-workers to watch out for us. Off work however, we are left to our own devices to protect our families, our fellow human beings, and ourselves. Individually, we must plan and organize our off-duty activities using the concept of risk management to minimize those hazards we may encounter. Commanders, supervisors, and section chiefs can also play a big role in summer safety programs by discussing off-duty safety and risk management during their recurring staff meetings. We endured a long, cold winter with a stellar safety record. By applying the concepts of risk management in both of our on and off duty activities in the future, we can have a safe and enjoyable summer, too. By SMSgt. Robbie B. Bogard Text and photo Andy Bischoff On 8 May Line dancing started at the Component again at in the Canadian Legion in Teveren, Kichstrasse 14. You need no partner to dance. Most dances are solo dances. One part of the fascination of line dancing is that people dont know each other and maybe even dont have a common language, can dance together. The line dance is a dance in which a group of people dance in a line formation or in lines, and they all execute the same dance moves individually. Each dance has a different sequence of movements that must be learned. Line dancing had a cowboy image; this changed since the late 1990s, as more young people became involved. Today, country music makes up the minority of a DJs play list. However, like dancing can be done on a variety of many different musical styles both new and old, like genres including Celtic, Swing, Pop, Rock, Big Band, Folk, and almost anything else that has a regular beat. Line dancings current popularity grew out of the disco period, when the country-western dance and music communities continued to explore and develop this form of dancing. Line dancing is a popular recreation activity and is practiced and learned in country-western dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs and ballrooms worldwide. It avoids the problem of imbalance of male/female partners that plagues ballroom/swing/salsa dancing clubs. It is sometimes combined on dance programs with other forms of country-western dance, such as two-step, shuffle, and western promenade dances, as well as western-style variants of the waltz, polka and swing. For more information call Andy Bischoff at ext. 3111. Dancing in lines makes funDancers show their skills at a festival in Summer 2005.Dancing in lines makes fun


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Text and photo Andy Bischoff This verse from a famous German song says there is always a reason to go back to Berlin. The local Member of the Bundestag (MdB means Member of the Parliament this is an official addition to the Name indicating his status as member of the Bundestag) of the Heinsberg district, Mr. Leo Dautzenberg, invited the Civilian Staff Association to Berlin once more. A busload of Component members went to visit Leipzig and Berlin at the end of March this year. Leipzig, a city with a very rich history, could have warranted a trip on its own. Almost all famous German writers once lived there. The Auerbach Keller, a very famous restaurant where the group dined, had been the inspiration for Goethe (the most famous German writer) when he wrote one of his most renowned stage plays Faust. It has now become customary for the Berlin tour organized by Mr. Werner Schumm, Social Manager of the Civilian Staff Association (CSA), to include a visit to the Reichstag, to attend a live session of the Bundestag and to have lunch at the German Parliamentary Society. When the German Minister of Defence heard that a group of NATO visitors was in the Parliament, he contacted Mr. Schumm. Inspired by the information folder of the Component, he sent the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence to welcome the group and to pass on his greetings. The group also visited the Bundeskanzleramt (Residence of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel). Unfortunately for us, that morning, she was busy showing Berlin to Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State. We fully understood that visit had a higher priority. The House of the Ministry of Defence, and several additional tourist highlights, such as Checkpoint Charlie, were on the programme as well. During the visit of Checkpoint Charlie, the former control point for allied Personnel only, would-be Russian and American Soldiers were available to be rented as add-ons for photo sessions. The Dinner at the Representation of the State Baden-Wrttemberg was also in the programme. Two young ladies, one from Baden and the other from Wrttemberg gave the group a tour through the house and were available for further questions. The dinner, as always in the southern part of Germany, was excellent. Mr. Andrew Holmes held a whisky-tasting event. He explained the differences between single malt, and other kinds of Scotch whisky. A drop of water made all the difference. The Berlin Wall, once a symbol of despair and of a tyrannical government, has been reduced to a 400-metre section on the Bernauer Strasse. This is the only piece that still shows the front and rear side of how the Wall had been built. Of course the booby traps and other dangerous devices have been removed. In addition to the cultural visits, there was also time for individual sightseeing and shopping. Besides the Sony Centre, the most famous department stores downtown are the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) and the Galerie Lafayette in the Friedrichstrasse. A glance through the city of Potsdam, the residence of King Friedrich of Prussia, the palace of Sans Souci, announced the conclusion of the tour. There is also the Czilienhof Palace, which in the year 1945 hosted the Potsdam Conference where the Allies (USA, United Kingdom, and USSR) decided the future of Germany; today, part of the palace is used as a hotel. We saw the Dutch Quarter, the Russian houses and had a very informative tour of the city of Potsdam. Even though Germanys reunification took place in 1990, the KGB was still present in a walled-off, restricted area of Potsdam until 1995. Some of the houses in that restricted area are still in their original condition. Many other historical houses were renovated in the last 15 years, but many others are still awaiting the resolution of ownership issues before they, too, can look forward to a facelift. Some of the participants of that trip were there for the first, but definitely not the last time. Ich habe immer noch einen Koffer in Berlin... I still have a suitcase in Berlin..... We will certainly come back. 6NATOSkywatch 12 May 2006 Autos2000 Black metallic BMW 316i, 115 hp, automatic climate control, cruise control, park distance control, multipurpose steering wheel, BMW business radio with 6 CD changer, brand new tires and extra set of winter tires included, 83,500 km, dealer maintained. Price 9,900. For more info call Sandra at 2330 or 02456-507990.MotorcycleBeautiful HD Dyna Super Glide, black and chrome, 2000 model, 1500 ccm, 50kw/68 hp, European Specs, only 65 km (NOT AN ERROR), show-room condition, price 8,500 or equivalent in US$, negotiable, excl. taxes etc. Call 02451/993383 or 02451/490220 for more info. SKYWATCHCLASSIFIED Todayand this weekend, 12-14 May, from 1000 to 1800 daily the Mothers Handcraft Fair 2006 will find place at the Old Gym. On sale are sandals, cards & paperwork, handbags, polish pottery and more too much to mention all. The event is open to all NATO ID-Card holders and their guests. Parts of the proceeds and raised money during the fair will be given as a donation to Medicins Sans Frontieres .Mothers Handcraft FairStyles 2006Organised by the brass band St.Barbara in Brunssum The musical event of the year 2006 finds place on Saturday, 3 June at 1930 (doors open 1845) in Sporthal Rumpen, Heugerstraat 2a. The concert is a musical challenge for conductor and musicians. They offer a program thats interesting for a wide audience. Different styles of music, from classic to pop, with a combination mix of a brass band, a pop band and soloists. An after party with Big Band Brunssum will find place at 2230 in Dr Brikke Oave, Lindeplein (opposite town hall). The ticket price is 15 (gives access to the after party also) and can be obtained at Assurantiekantoor de Ruijter, Rumpenerstraat 81, Brunssum; and Rabobank Brunssum, Kerkstraat 59a, Brunssum. A tradition that started in 1300 A.D. has arrived in our neighbourhood. The Heimatund Dekanatsschtzenfest (Home and Deanery Shooting Competition with Fair) event only takes place every 11th year in a particular village. This year, the small village of Kreuzrath, home of quite a significant number of our Component members, has got the privilege of hosting this most important traditional festival. If you wish to participate and experience some of the local community traditions you should not miss the opportunity to visit Kreuzrath, close to Birgden and only 15 km from base, on one of the following days: Cultural evening on Friday 26 May at 2000; Saturday 27 May evening dance party, cost 1214; Saturday 28 May 1000: traditional early morning beer call, 1300: reception of the 23 visiting shooting teams, 1430: grand parade of participating teams, 1800: award ceremony.Heimat und Dekanatsschtzenfest in KreuzrathIch habe noch einen Koffer in Berlin.(I still have a suitcase in Berlin) CSA members at Checkpoint Charlie during their Berlin visit. Skywatch Classifieds are free to all NATO personnel. Advertisements must be printed or typed, and include your name, office symbol and duty extension. The editor will not accept advertisements for services that generate a regular income, or for housing other than vacation rentals. Submissions for the next NATO Skywatch are due to PIO, Mail Stop 33, e-mail:, before noon Thursday, 25 May.


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8NATOSkywatch 12 May 2006