Ministry of National Defence
Information and Public Relations Directorate
No.6 - 13 January 2016
Romania Takes Over the Annual Chairmanship of the Steering Group of the Multinational Engineer Battalion „Tisa”
Romania will take over from Hungary the annual chairmansip of the Steering Group of the Multinational Engineer Battalion „Tisa”, a regional initiative that includes Slovakia and Ukraine, during a ceremony that will take place in Budapest, on Thursday, January 14.
Romania holds the chairmanship in year 2016. Several expert level reunions and meetings of the Steering Group will be organized, as well as the multinational exercise „BLONDE AVALANCHE 2016”, that will bring together engineer structures of the four member states.
Some of Romania’s priorities during the chairmanship of the Steering Group are making the initiative more visible and promoting an “open doors” policy in order to attract more members and continue taking steps to extend the area of responsibility of the Multinational Engineer Battalion „Tisa”. Operating procedures are also going to be improved for a better coordination and organization of exercise „BLONDE AVALANCHE 2016”.
The ceremony in Hungary will be attended by a delegation of the General Staff, headed by the deputy chief of the General Staff for Operations and Training, Major General Cristinel CERNEA.
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The Ukrainian defence minister proposed the creation of a multinational engineer unit in the proximity of river Tisa during the trilateral meeting of the Romanian, Ukrainian and Hungarian ministers of defence. The unit was meant to participate in international peacekeeping and humanitarian operations but also to quickly respond for the containment and removal of the effects of flooding and other natural disasters in its area of responsibility. Later, Slovakia joined the Tisa Initiative whereas the Technical Arrangement on Implementation of Intergovernmental Agreement on Multinational Engineer Battalion Tisa was signed in Budapest, in January 18, 2002.
Some of the goals of the initiative are developing cooperation – as part of the efforts to build trust, increase flexibility and interoperability – highlighting the importance of the multilateral military relations for strengthening peace and stability in Europe and engaging the battalion in humanitarian missions.
The member nations take turns in holding the chairmanship of the initiative, in an alphabetical order, according to their names in English, while the leading structures are the Steering Group and the Multinational Working Group.
The command and control structure consists of a multinational command and an engineer company from each member nation. Previously, Romania held the chairmanship of the initiative in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The battalion conducts joint training exercises on an annual basis, in turns, in each of the participating countries, under the generic name „BLONDE AVALANCHE”.