The U.S. Mission to NATO’s Public Affairs Office informs policy makers and journalists from some 50 countries on key U.S. and NATO policy issues through its Tours Program. A “tour” enables journalists and government officials – including parliamentarians and their staffs – to visit NATO headquarters and some of its operations in the field. Participants are nominated by U.S. Embassies in NATO Ally or partner countries to take part in these tours.
Each tour program typically begins at NATO Headquarters or SHAPE before traveling to other locations to focus on specific NATO capabilities or operations.
These capabilities include the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACs) base at Geilenkirchen, Germany (below); the NATO airlift capability in Pápa, Hungary (above); and the Center of Excellence for Cyber Defense in Tallinn, Estonia. Other operations-related visits have included Afghanistan, where participants visited Kabul and other parts of the country to get a first-hand view of the transition process, and JFC-Naples, during NATO’s mission in Libya. This year, the main theme for the tours program is NATO capabilities, with topics ranging from Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS) to cyber defense to missile defense.
Meanwhile, in May, USNATO took a German TV crew to Afghanistan for a “special embed” to observe ISAF soldiers supporting Afghan National Security Forces in the field.