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Release No: 687-96
December 23, 1996


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization reached a major milestone recently, when it consolidated its military and civilian research advisory groups under a new Research and Technology Board.

For four decades, the NATO Military Committee oversaw the Advisory Group on Aerospace Research and Development (AGARD). AGARD provided advice and studies in the field of aerospace. Similarly, the civilian Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) oversaw the Defense Research Group (DRG) that provided advice and studies in military technology.

Following on the heels of a reorganization that transformed the SHAPE Technical Center into the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), NATO combined AGARD and the DRG and have the new organization serve both the Military Committee and the CNAD. The panels and subordinate working elements of both organizations were integrated into a streamlined structure with the permanent staffs combined and governed by the Research and Technology (R&T) Board. The R&T Board replaces the management boards that governed the two predecessor organizations.

The inaugural meeting of the NATO R&T Board was held in Brussels November 21 and opened by NATO Deputy Secretary General S. Balanzino from Italy. The R&T Board elected Dr. Michael Yarymovych, the former chairman of the AGARD Board as board chairman. Dr. Yarymovych, an aeronautical engineer, is a former Air Force chief scientist and a former president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The R&T Board also selected Dr. Ernst van Hoek as director of the new staff, subject to confirmation by NATO's Secretary General. Dr. van Hoek is the immediate past chairman of the DRG and is director of research and development in the Netherlands Ministry of Defense. He is well known for his work in NATO and as the chairman of a panel of the Western European Armaments Group. A physicist, Dr. van Hoek served as chairman of the Society of Defence Engineers in the Netherlands, and he is currently on the board of the defence technology division of the Royal Society of Engineers. He will oversee a 50-member NATO staff, some located at the Brussels NATO Headquarters, but the majority located near Paris.

The senior U.S. representative on the R&T Board is Mr. George Singley III, deputy director of defense research and engineering in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology. The other U.S. representative is Dr. Donald Daniel, deputy director for science and technology at Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

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