Home INTERVIEWS Colonel (GS) Bart Jan A. VERBIST, Defence Attaché of Belgium and AMAC Magazine Project Manager: “AMAC Magazine facilitates the exchange of information, and enhances mutual awareness and understanding between the AMAC community and the defence and aerospace industry.”

Colonel (GS) Bart Jan A. VERBIST, Defence Attaché of Belgium and AMAC Magazine Project Manager: “AMAC Magazine facilitates the exchange of information, and enhances mutual awareness and understanding between the AMAC community and the defence and aerospace industry.”

by Can Kılınç

Colonel (GS) Bart Jan A. Verbist, Defence Attaché of Belgium, has recently taken over the Ankara Military Attaché Corps (AMAC) Magazine Project Manager post. We talked with Colonel (GS) Verbist on his priorities and goals about AMAC Magazine, which is published in cooperation with MSI TDR and is the official publication of AMAC.

MSI TDR: We would like to congratulate you for being selected the new AMAC Magazine Project Manager. How do you define AMAC Magazine; what is the utility of the magazine for its stakeholders?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: Let me start by saying that it is an honour and a pleasure for me to take up the tasks of the AMAC Magazine Project Manager in replacement of Colonel Thomas Rapatz, who recently became the Dean of AMAC.

The current situation in Ukraine reminds us all of the necessity of close cooperation between the military on one side and the defence and aerospace industry on the other. Armed forces are dependent on the production capacity of the defence and aerospace industry to maintain adequate stock levels of ammunition and military equipment and sustain a protracted high-intensity military campaign. The role of military attachés is instrumental for this cooperation and their role becomes even more significant in crisis situations. The AMAC Magazine, with the support of its sponsors, helps the military attachés to successfully accomplish their duties. It enables the connection between themselves and acts as a bridge to the defence and aerospace industry institutions.

The AMAC Magazine is a good source of information about both the AMAC community and the defence and aerospace industry. Finally, the magazine can serve as a remembrance for the military attachés of their time in Türkiye.

MSI TDR: What will be the priorities, goals and expectations during your tenure?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: The main goals are twofold. First of all, I want the AMAC Magazine to continue to report about the AMAC community and its many professional and social activities, and ensure good visibility to the defence and aerospace industry, the Turkish Ministry of National Defence and the Turkish General Staff. Secondly, the AMAC Magazine is to inform the military attachés about the ongoing developments and future projects within the Turkish defence and aerospace industry. In doing so, the AMAC Magazine facilitates the exchange of information, and enhances mutual awareness and understanding between the AMAC community and the defence and aerospace industry.

One of my expectations is to implement the AMAC Magazine website that is currently under development, to make relevant information readily available, and thus facilitate the duties of the military attachés.

Colonel (GS) Bart Jan A. Verbist, Defence Attaché of Belgium and AMAC Project Manager and Colonel (GS) Thomas Rapatz, Defence Attaché of Austria and AMAC Dean

Call to Contribute

MSI TDR: What can be done to cooperate with AMAC Magazine’s stakeholders?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: The AMAC Magazine has a large distribution among the AMAC community and the defence and aerospace sector agencies and companies. Hence, it forms a unique platform through which the military attachés can introduce themselves to the AMAC community and the sector institutions.  In addition, through its proximity to the defence and aerospace industry agencies and companies, the AMAC Magazine team can facilitate the introduction of the sector representatives to the military attachés.

Sector companies can also establish closer relations with the military attachés by sponsoring AMAC activities, promoting their products in the magazine, or through presentations during the AMAC conferences.

MSI TDR: AMAC Magazine is prepared and published along with its sister publications, namely English edition of MSI Turkish Defence Review (TDR), which has amassed more than 115 issues since 2014, and Turkish edition of MSI TDR, which has amassed more than 230 issues since 2004. What is the utility of MSI TDR for a military attaché in Türkiye? How do you benefit from receiving MSI TDR monthly?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: I appreciate the intimate collaboration between the AMAC Magazine and MSI TDR. MSI TDR is one of the most valuable sources of information for the military attachés regarding the Turkish and international defence and aerospace industries as well as military topics like the coverage of some of the major exercises of the Turkish Armed Forces. The magazine is very informative and I always send a copy to the General Staff in Brussels to familiarize them with the different agencies and companies active in the defence and aerospace industry and inform them about the latest developments and future projects.

I cordially invite the defence and aerospace industry agencies and companies to use the AMAC Magazine to inform the military attachés about their ongoing projects and future plans and to reach out to us for possible opportunities for bilateral or multinational cooperation.

In the MÜSİAD-AMAC Sectoral Cooperation Meeting, held on 23 March 2022 in Ankara, military attaches met with Turkish defence and aerospace companies.

There is Room for Meeting with the Industry in the Agenda

MSI TDR: As you know IDEF 23 is going to be held between 9-12 May and AMAC Magazine May 2023 Issue is going to be published as the Special Edition of IDEF 23 before the exhibition. As AMAC Community what are your expectations from AMAC Magazine IDEF 23 special edition?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: Undoubtedly, IDEF 2023 is by far the most important defence and aerospace industry event in Türkiye that attracts high-level political and military visitors from across the globe. Traditionally several cooperation agreements or military sales contracts are signed at the occasion of IDEF. The AMAC Magazine IDEF 23 special edition should provide the AMAC community with all relevant information and help the military attachés to prepare for their visit to this event. The magazine should cover the major sector agencies and companies present at the event, report on the latest developments in the sector, and provide an overview of the material and equipment that will be displayed.

MSI TDR: Is there anything else that you can say about AMAC Magazine’s 2023 agenda?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: Concerning the 2023 Agenda, joint activities together with the AMAC Magazine and various sector agencies and companies, like the MÜSİAD-AMAC Meeting last year, can be planned and organized if there is sufficient interest from both the AMAC community and the defence and aerospace industry. These events are great opportunities for sector companies to introduce themselves to the military attachés.

MSI TDR: Do you have a message for Turkish defence and aerospace industry, regarding their relation with AMAC Magazine?

Colonel (GS) VERBIST: I cordially invite the defence and aerospace industry agencies and companies to use the AMAC Magazine to inform the military attachés about their ongoing projects and future plans and to reach out to us for possible opportunities for bilateral or multinational cooperation. We can then relay this information to our nations and headquarters for their consideration.

We would like to thank Colonel (GS) Bart Jan A. Verbist, Defence Attaché of Belgium and AMAC Magazine Project Manager, for taking the time to answer our questions, and for providing us with such valuable information.

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