On 24 September 2020, Major-General Andreas Schick took over the command of EATC. The first 100 days in command are a “pulse check” for each commander. This has not been different for General Schick, although EATC has no secrets for him: General Schick already held the position of chief of staff of EATC for three years previously to his command.
General Schick, what are your priorities as Commander EATC?
I identified three main tasks, which we are tackling with prioritisation.
First of all, the EATC IT set-up has to be adapted and prepared to serve the requirements of this new decade. This includes: Cyber Security, our command and control (C²) software application MEAT, document management and more important than ever, home office capabilities.
Then the cross certification acceptance between our nations on the maintenance and the aircrew side need to be intensified. This is a prerequisite to offer our member nations real synergy options for combined operational detachments.
And finally we are looking into opportunities to better support our nations during the early planning and subsequent execution phase for air mobility missions in crisis scenarios. EATC has the potential to offer this crucial support to its member nations.
How does the unexceptional pandemic situation prejudice your command?
People are working in home office and those present in the EATC are almost completely avoiding personal contact. This means that I have to conduct communication and execute leadership mainly via virtual means. This is a new, though a bit strange, and still a very challenging way to ensure the right information flow, to sense the needs and feel the atmosphere within my staff. I also had to cancel all my travel plans and in particular my introductive high-level exchange with our Member Nations’ representatives and other international organisations. Not to forget, the social life amongst our multinational EATC family has come to an almost complete halt. This is a fact that is not to be underestimated when serving abroad and in a multinational environment.
What is EATC to you in only a couple of words?
Great concept, centre of expertise, blueprint for military cooperation!