CHAMP Vision

BREAKING NEWS! CHAMP is Developing New Relationships with AIA and US Committee of the Blue Shield!

At the AIA Annual Meeting in Jan 2014, officers from the AIA, US Committee of the Blue Shield  (USCBS), CHAMP, and the Combatant Commanders Cultural Heritage Action Group (CCHAG) (a CHAMP member group) met to discuss the relationship of these groups with each other. At this meeting, USCBS invited CHAMP to partner with it as an independent, but related, organization. The Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS), its US partner USCBS, and CHAMP have the same interests, but CHAMP has closer ties to military organizations.  These organizations can provide mutual support to each other.

 To acknowledge this partnership, CHAMP has formally changed its name from Cultural Heritage by Archaeological Institute of America and Military Panel to Cultural Heritage by Archaeology and Military Panel. This name change allows the group to broaden its mission to include any organization concerned with archaeology. It also acknowledges that CHAMP is not an official partner or committee of the AIA, although most CHAMP members are AIA members.

 This new partnership between CHAMP and USCBS does not mean that CHAMP is discontinuing our interests with AIA. To the contrary, CHAMP will continue to be a source of important information for the AIA on protection of cultural property during conflict. AIA and USCBS are also starting to explore development of a formal partnership between the organizations. As a USCBS committee, CHAMP will also develop a more formal relationship with AIA in time.

 A major impetus behind these changes is CHAMP’s informal status as an interest group, rather than a formally instituted organization with national and international recognition and support. This has hindered its credibility to represent its interests and concerns. On the other hand, AIA and the ANCBS (including USCBS) are nationally and internationally recognized, have budgets, and have formal staffs. In order for CHAMP to become more effective as an organization, all CHAMP members are encouraged to become members of both the AIA and the Blue Shield Committee of their respective countries, as well as other cultural heritage organizations with similar goals. To join the AIA, go to website http://www.archaeological.org/join. To join the Blue Shield committee of your nation, go to website Association of the National Committees of the BlueShield http://www.ancbs.org/cms/index.php/en/about-us/about-ancbs.

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The Cultural Heritage by AIA-Military Panel (CHAMP) is dedicated to improving awareness among deploying military personnel regarding the culture and history of local communities in host countries and war zones. Education and training of military personnel is a critical step in preserving and safeguarding historical sites and cultural artifacts and will promote greater understanding and improved relations with local communities. Learn more…

Dr. C. Brian Rose, AIA Past President
As President of AIA, I am pleased to provide a website for the CHAMP. AIA has been a strong advocate for cultural property preservation in war zones since 2003. By partnering with military personnel and various government agencies, AIA has provided training and guidance on how to operate affectively around cultural sites and property while protecting both personnel and heritage. This working group is now ready to expand this effort by joining forces to create more training opportunities for military and government personnel, providing cultural heritage information and support to all affected nations, and helping to write reference materials. I invite all interested AIA members and other interested parties to join this working group. Cultural heritage property and military personnel will both benefit greatly from your experience and support.

Dr. Laurie Rush, Ft. Drum Archaeologist
The people of the United States and its allies ask their military personnel to serve all over the world in an unimaginable range of situations. Conflict has become increasingly complex, and a wide range of countries look to our military personnel for help in the event of natural disasters. We ask military personnel to apply the same heritage and stewardship principles that we all follow in our home nations to military efforts during global operations. We, as archaeologists, can help by providing expertise. From building better maps, to answering questions from personnel stationed abroad who are encountering archaeological features, to networking with each other to plan for and enable site preservation, cooperation with the Archaeological Institute of America, as represented in this website, is valuable and significant. Most importantly, it offers hope for preservation in areas of the world where hope is needed the most.

Ms. Laura Childs, CHAMP Secretary.
As a collaborative working group, the CHAMP encourages ideas and communications from military, government, and academic participants. Your inputs to the information and documents provided here are very welcome. To be included on this website, please send them to the secretary, Ms. Laura Childs, at lacaug@cs.com, 210-977-6100 (work) or 210-494-3820 (home).

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