From robotic systems to hybrid warfare, the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) 2015 Concept Development & Experimentation Working Group (CD&E WG) brought an interactive agenda with a variety of keynote speakers, hands-on experiment proposals, innovative concepts, activities and exhibits to the more than 130 visitors in attendance of this year's event in Virginia Beach, Virginia USA, 19-21 May.
The 2015 NATO Transformation Seminar reinforced the need to develop a shared resilience to ensure the Alliance has the ability to conduct sustained operations. Operationally agility is a must if the Atlantic Alliance is to continually adapt to the demands of the strategic environment.
One such example, the NATO Joint Sea Based Operations (NJSBO) Concept, aligned with the NATO Strategic Concept and the latest output from the 2015 Seminar, aims to offer the ability to reduce or eliminate the requirements for large footprints ashore or extensive Host Nation Support. This 2015 North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved Concept is an innovative way to transform how the Alliance could respond to crises with NATO joint forces.
While the NJSBO Concept mitigates some risks associated with land-based operations, the conduct of sea based operations could likely create new support requirements when conducting operations away from NATO Nations. The exploration, or rather experimentation of these logistical considerations was necessary to aid further development of the NJSBO Concept Implementation Plan (CIP).
In support of this requirement, NATO ACT Operational Experimentation supported by the Operational Analysis Branch and NATO Communications and Information Agency led a discovery experiment - the NJSBO Logistics Planning Considerations Limited Objective Experiment (LOE) at the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) in La Spezia, Italy on 5-8 May.
CMRE Director of Strategic Development, Mr. Burton stated that one of the biggest challenges in NATO is the joining-up of science with the operators to accelerate capability delivery. "A key theme at CMRE is innovation and discovery – not just in terms of technology but also in terms of people, doctrine and ways of working," said Mr. Burton. "Hosting the NJSBO Logistics LOE at CMRE in LaSpezia is one of the ways we confront that challenge."
This LOE was conducted with the aim of identifying logistics considerations necessary to support NJSBO up to a Small Joint Operations (SJO). The LOE gathered Subject Matter Experts (SME) from different NATO commands, Headquarters, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS COE) and the NATO Support Agency (NSPA).
"Without experimentation all good thoughts just stay theory. We always need to check whether our assumptions are right and lead to feasible and executable doctrine in the end," said Colonel Sleurink, Branch Head J5, JFCBS. "Of course the final testing is done during execution of a real mission or exercise, but this experiment brings us as close as we can get to the reality for extremely low costs."
This LOE is the second experimentation effort on NJSBO conducted within NATO's Maritime programme/campaign. The first experiment , the NJSBO Deployable Joint Headquarters (DJHQ) Planning Considerations LOE, focused on Command and Control (C2) issues and was conducted in July 2014 at STRIKFORNATO in Portugal. Findings from this experiment contributed to the final refinement of the NJSBO Concept. Outcomes from both activities support the development of the CIP.
For more information on the NJSBO Logistics LOE or the Maritime experimentation campaign, please contact: CDR Henning Rathke, NATO ACT Operational Experimentation, +1(757)747-3326, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) opportunities email email@example.com.
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani recently spoke at the National Defence Academy (Vienna), pointing out NATO as a cornerstone of stability in the Euro-Atlantic zone "...in times of great uncertainty and instability."
General Zuliani said: "It is important to remind everyone that without the solid foundation of the transatlantic link, the very heart of what NATO means, the prosperity and development in our societies have achieved through all these years could, simply, not have been possible".
After having alleged that a strong NATO means stability and prosperity not only for the Allies, but also for the rest of the world with regard to a number of threats, DSACT pledged that the key to enhance the ability to tackle security challenges is collaboration with Partners. "NATO must, therefore, intensify efforts to engage with and reach out to partners that can contribute significantly to address shared security concerns". Moreover: "Partnership is essential to the way NATO works; it is an essential source of stability in this unpredictable world, and will continue to be in the future.
"The [NATO] group of free Nations have together, and in close cooperation with partners, formed an Alliance that has been, for over 65 years now, the cornerstone [of international security]" General Zuliani said.
General Zuliani also emphasized the importance of the Readiness Action Plan, where he quoted the NATO Secretary General: "NATO is implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War. We are increasing NATO's presence in our Eastern Allied countries and the readiness of our forces".
The NATO Response Force will more than double, and consist of up to 30.000 troops. A "spearhead force" of 5.000 troops will be ready to act swiftly, with first elements deploying within 48 hours.
The Country Visit to Austria was aimed to enhance mutual understanding between NATO and Partner Nations, and to make all partners willing and taking steps to develop their interoperability with NATO. DSACT was received by Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Bernhard Bair.
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani led a recent Allied Command Transformation (ACT) delegation to Switzerland, where they were greeted by the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General André Blattman.
During the two day visit the conversation centred on enhancing interoperability and cooperation with Partner nations through flexible and focused cooperation and engagement. The ACT delegation was briefed on the Swiss Armed Forces' development, armament planning and doctrine.
The delegation also visited the Armour and Artillery Training Unit, and Air Force Training Unit 31 for simulation demonstrations and training procedures.
General Zuliani said: "The implementation of the Wales Summit initiatives is still underway and will need further support by ACT. The ACT Partnership Strategy is an opportunity to align our efforts across the Command but also to formulate our way ahead to enhance Partnerships in NATO".
The principles of the Partnership Strategy
The aim is to evolve the NATO approach to partnership activities in the context of the changing priorities of the Alliance and the nations' military transformation. "This will present a step forward and identify opportunities to bolster interoperability, trust, and situational awareness with a broad range of partners" DSACT said. In general terms the Partnership Strategy describes what to achieve, and how to identify and prioritise areas that need improvement.
Supporting Partner Nations seeking Interoperability with NATO
"NATO seeks to foster interoperability with all its partners and continue to make all partners aware, both in bilateral and in established frameworks. NATO will continue to offer support, through its interoperability programmes, to all partners willing and taking steps to develop their interoperability with NATO" General Zuliani said.
A NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) team represented the Command at ITEC 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic April 27-30 by showcasing the latest in serious gaming, interaction with Industry, immersive training applications and participating in technical discussions.
The ITEC Conference is the international forum for military training, education and simulation sectors and provides an opportunity for influential thought-leaders from across the military, Industry and Academia to bring the sector's most current issues to the fore of international debate.
This year, ACT focused on Modelling & Simulation tools for operational analysis, part of the CoreSim 2020 project, and studies in defence planning and acquisition, as well as capability development and operations.
During a panel discussion on operational analysis, Han de Nijs, Branch Head for Operational Analysis at ACT said, "operational analysis is the application of scientific methods to provide evidence-based decision making support to our decision makers."
In the same panel discussion Sylvie Martel, Chief of Operational Analysis for NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), added, "I am heading a team where the mandate is to deliver operational analysis services to planners and decisions makers both in NATO and the Nations."
The panel went on to discuss how Modelling and Simulation techniques could be used to improve education and training through data analysis.
Mr. Nijs also participated in the plenary for the Modelling and Simulation for Autonomous Systems (MESAS) workshop, an additional event feature at ITEC.
"The theme for this workshop is developing autonomous systems for tomorrow's operating environment...," said Mr. Nijs. "By doing that, you are directly supporting NATO's connected forces initiative which is seen as a very flexible tool that leverages two decades of Lessons Learned and enables NATO to maintain a high level of interoperability between Allies and Partners."
This year the NATO booth, shared with the NATO Science and Technology Organisation and featured prominently between ACT participants and the other participants of ITEC, had a display which contained demonstrations on the latest software applications being developed or used throughout NATO for e-learning, training and simulation.
"The floor traffic has been phenomenal here at ITEC. Essentially, we share our ideas and concepts with the larger NATO family and hear what they think about our work. This year the comments have been very favourable. Essentially, we are just here showing off our stuff," said Wayne Buck, ACT's ITEC Coordinator.
April 28, 2015 - ITEC 2015 Begins in Prague
General Petr Pavel MA, Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, delivered the keynote address at the 2015 ITEC Conference April 28 in Prague, Czech Republic.
The ITEC Conference is the international forum for military training, education and simulation sectors and provides an opportunity for influential thought-leaders from across the military, Industry and Academia to bring the sector's most current issues to the fore of international debate.
General Pavel's speech focused on improving interoperability, collective defence and linked training.
"For the Czech Republic and for other small countries in NATO, we see that national defense and collective defence have merged into one," said General Pavel. "Small countries like the Czech Republic don't have the possibility to train in large formations since we don't have them in our own environment. So for us it was imperative to link with other countries to get that training."
After the opening session where he gave his keynote address, General Pavel visited the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) booth and spoke with those manning the booth about ACT's training and simulation displays.
Later in the day, Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Meyers and Mr. Angel San Jose Martin from the Capability Development Branch of NATO ACT gave a brief on the type of linked training that General Pavel talked about in the keynote address.
"The Linked Training Concept, as we call it, is part of the Connected Forces Initiative," said Mr. San Jose Martin, section head for Science and Technology and Modeling and Simulation. "It provides recommendations of the NATO Commands to Allies and partners to develop innovative ways to enhance multinational training not organised by NATO."
The Linked Training Concept proposes that the member nations focus on the three pillars of better use of technology, sharing of resources and better collaboration among communities.
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros visited NATO's Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) in Izmir, Turkey 1 April.
The aim of the visit was to identify ways to improve the interaction between Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and LANDCOM on topics of mutual interest.
General Paloméros was briefed on LANDCOM's mission, activities and opportunities for further cooperation. Major General Uğur Tarçın, LANDCOM Chief of Staff welcomed SACT. After a short tour of the Headquarters, Major General Tarçın highlighted some of the activities and achievements of LANDCOM. The visit continued after a LANDCOM presentation of the current NATO issues in the Operations Centre.
More info and pictures on LANDCOM website.
NORFOLK, Va. – "I can't change what's in the past; but I can shape the future"..."Give them enough room to fail". These were two of U.S. Army General Colin Powell's (retired) messages to NATO leaders taking part in the Alliance's Executive Development Programme (NEDP).
The program's "Residential Module Four" took place at Allied Command Transformation (ACT) last week. The session, titled "Creating the Future," served as a precursor to the NATO Transformation Seminar which occurred March 24-26 in Washington D.C.
The "Creating the Future" module aimed to deepen the understanding of the transformation process from guidance through implementation and execution, the role of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) as a driver of transformation, and how this change is concretely achieved.
As part of the program the participants were given a tour of Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest navy base, and attended the speech by General Powell, who was Secretary of State for George W. Bush 2001-2005, at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News.
The NEDP spans a nine-month period and includes projects focusing on defence capacity building, lessons learned, subject matter expert representation and talent management within the NATO Support Agency.
The aim of the programme is to build an enhanced knowledge of NATO, its identity and core values, as well as give insight into a rapidly changing world.
As part of the on-going cooperation between NATO and the European Union (EU), Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation's Representative in Europe Vice Admiral Ignacio Horcada, led a delegation that recently engaged with EU authorities.
General Zuliani met the Managing Director for Crisis Response & Operational Coordination of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Mr. Pedro Serrano, to discuss the participation of EEAS in Trident Juncture 2015, the largest NATO exercise in a decade.
At SACEUR's Commanders Conference
General Zuliani also participated in Supreme Allied Commander Europe's (SACEUR) 'Commanders Conference' focussing on NATO's new spearhead 'Very High Readiness Joint Task Force' (VJTF) and the Alliance's Readiness Action Plan (RAP). At the conference, where for the first time the NATO Secretary General participated, SecGen explained that NATO currently is adapting to a new security environment, modelling its 'defense posture' to new challenges – among them the actions of Russia in Ukraine, and the threat from the South, with violence and turmoil spreading through the Middle East and North Africa.
SACEUR's Commanders Conference sets the scene for further collaboration and cooperation between the two Strategic Commands (ACO and ACT) and it is a venue of discussion for the ACO Commanders.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Deputy Supreme Allied Command Transformation (DSACT), Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani led an ACT delegation to the 2015 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) which concluded February 26.
IDEX, a biennial conference hosted by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is the only international defence exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa (NEMA) region. It serves as a platform to establish and strengthen relationships between government departments, businesses and armed forces throughout the region.
With more than 50 countries represented, including most NATO members, and Russia and China, IDEX covered themes ranging from best use of modern technologies and military-civilian cooperation to interoperability and human resources in future challenges.
During the conference, ACT participants met with a delegation led by Major General Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi, Assistant Undersecretary for Policy and Strategic Affairs, who was accompanied by several other Generals, including those responsible for the relationship with NATO.
"We thanked them for the great efforts and work they are putting into trying to stabilise the region and their active participation in NATO initiatives" said DSACT. "The themes that were touched upon in the meeting were particularly interesting, as our counterpart is really keen on trying to gain an understanding on how the NATO Lessons Learned (LL) process works."
Representatives of the UAE's Armed Forces expressed interest in NATO participation at some of their national exercises as well as exchanging expertise and bolstering cooperation between the Centres of Excellence (COE) communities.
Following the IDEX, General Zuliani travelled to Doha, Qatar, where he met with two delegations led by the General Inspector of Qatar Armed Forces, Major General Thamer Ali Al Mihshadi and the Chief of Defence (CHOD), Major General Ghanim Shaheen Al Ghanim. He also visited the Air Force Academy and the Al-Udeid Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) where he met with the United States' Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Lieutenant General John W. Hesterman III.
The Qatar CHOD said: "[To] achieve a better prepared and skilled Armed Force is the aim, and nothing but the best is what we are striving to get". DSACT mentioned among other possible areas of collaboration – Defence Capacity Building (DCB).
Qatar plays a very active role in its region; likewise it is one the Partner Nations that took participated in the NATO-led operation in Libya in 2011, Operation Unified Protector (OUP).
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros, recently visited the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency's NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC TC) Centre in Mons, Belgium.
At the centre he was briefed on NATO's operational cyber defence capabilities. General Paloméros was given a tour of the NCIRC TC and an explanation of the Cyber Security Service Line's role in developing Cyber Security throughout its life-cycle.
After seeing the NCIRC TC Operations Room at work, he was given a brief demonstration of the NATO Cyber Defence Rapid Reaction Team and their equipment, provided under NCIRC Full Operational Capability (FOC) project.
The NCI Agency is responsible for running and protecting NATO's information technology networks. In co-operation with Allied Command Transformation and Industry, the Agency is also developing the next generation of NATO's cyber defences.
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"Corruption is a component of what we call the hybrid strategies that we see developing at the Eastern borders of the Alliance but in the South as well"... "To cope with this increasing presence of corruption in a complex and volatile security environment, [NATO member] nations, International Organisations, NGOs [Non-Governmental Organisations] have obviously their respective role to play. But the most effective answers will above all result from new innovative, comprehensive, and coordinated approaches from all the stakeholders, of which many are represented here".
The above words come from Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean Paul Paloméros, who gave the keynote speech at NATO's bi-annual 'Building Integrity (BI) Conference in Washington D.C. February 23-25.
During his keynote, SACT stressed that "the pace at which corruption is evolving from what was a risk or a constraint to a real threat for the Alliance and its partners, is a key inhibitor of stability. It therefore requires more than ever, all our efforts so that we can address these vulnerabilities together"
"In light of our recent experiences, we can assess that full success in operations cannot be reached without a strong commitment to promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability. Corruption is becoming more and more a central strategic threat to world stability, to the core of our democratic values"(...)"there is no alternative, we must do that together" SACT concluded.
The BI conference provides an opportunity for civil and military authorities to develop a better understanding of the strategic impact of corruption, and to identify practical actions to strengthen transparency, accountability and integrity in the defence and security sector.
Representatives from NATO member and partner nations, along with other international and regional organisations were participating in this year's event, together with NATO's strategic and subordinate commands.
NORFOLK, Va. – Officers from the U.S. Army War College, International Fellowship Program, visited Headquarters, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT), in Norfolk, Virginia, February 11 to meet HQ SACT leaders and learn first-hand the command's mission of preserving the peace and security of the Alliance.
On Monday 26 January, at the military base in Albacete, in southeast Spain, nine French and two Greek military personnel were killed in the crash of a Greek F-16 fighter jet. I want to express my solidarity to our brothers in arms, the families and friends of victims during this dramatic accident.
Created on July 1st, 2005, Headquarters Rapid Reaction Corps-France (HQ RRC-FR) is a NATO certified French headquarters, able to command a national or multinational land component of 5,000 to 60,000 personnel. HQ RRC, stationed in Lille, employs more than 400 military coming from thirteen different nations.
SACT's visit to RRC-France in its "Citadelle" is a sign of recognition of its capabilities and "savoir-faire" by the Alliance. The main objective of this visit was to discuss the prospects for "post-Afghanistan training", as well as optimizing the way forward.
RRC–France HQ was ahead on its readiness for NRF 2014, finalized by Steadfast Jazz 14 Exercise. In October 2015, RRC-France should have a scheduled deployment in Poland.
General Paloméros concluded his visit by emphasizing the fact that "Rapid Reaction Corps-France is fully part of the NATO landscape and has a privileged position there".
Photo and video credit: Rapid Reaction Corps France
NORFOLK, Va. - NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) continues to raise the bar in gender perspective training around the world. In the most recent United Nations Security Council Report, NATO was recognised for having "strengthened the gender training delivered through the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations."
SACT was welcomed by CSO Deputy Director, Major General (ret.) Roger Renard, and NATO's Chief Scientist, Major General Albert Husniaux. SACT's visit was an opportunity for him to present CSO's Collaborative Program of Work (CPoW) and speak about issues pertaining to ACT and CSO collaboration. It was also an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned two years after the CSO establishment and to identify ways to further improve the relationship between the two entities, from better understanding of military needs to exploitation of scientific results.
The CSO is part of the NATO Science & Technology Organization (STO). Its mission is to conduct and promote cooperative research and information exchange, to support the development and effective use of national defence research and technology – to meet the military needs of the Alliance.
"On behalf of the entire Allied Command Transformation, I want to express my solidarity to the French Community in the United States as well as French and other Allies' commitment to fight against all kinds of extremism and terrorism and defend our core values of democracy and freedom, and more particularly in these dramatic circumstances, the freedom of expression."
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros along with Stability Policing Centre of Excellence (SP COE) Director Colonel Fausto Vignola lead a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony during the Chiefs of Transformation Conference December 18, 2014 officially establishing the SP COE.
The MOU establishes Italy as the framework nation for the SP COE which is located in Vicenza, Italy. Sponsoring nations included the Czech Republic, France, Poland, Spain, The Netherlands, Turkey and Romania.
The NATO SP COE operates as a prime mover to increase contributions to the stability and reconstruction efforts of the Alliance in post-conflict scenarios and it will help NATO fill the capability gap in the area of Stability Policing. It will also act as an internationally recognised focal point and a hub of expertise for a Community of Interest in the field of Stability Policing, contributing to the NATO Strategic Concept.
The Princess met with Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros; the Deputy Commander, Italian Air Force General Mirco Zuliani; and Chief of Staff, British Army Lieutenant General Phil Jones.
Princess Tessy will attend the 2014 Chiefs of Transformation Conference (COTC) in Norfolk, Virginia, December 16-18. The COTC, hosted annually by SACT, provides a forum where national Chiefs of Transformation and NATO leaders can collaborate and share ideas regarding the future of the Alliance. Last year, more than 270 participants from 50 different countries attended. HQ SACT is the only NATO headquarters located in the United States.
Continuing to strengthen its relationships with academic institutions, Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) has established an agreement with Regent University's Military & Veteran's Affairs in Norfolk, Virginia.
Earlier this fall, NATO staff officers Lieutenant Colonel Alfonso Alvarez (Spanish Army) and Commander Matteo Minelli (Italian Navy) attended a signing ceremony for the letter of accord with Regent's executive vice president for operations, Dr. Paul Bonicelli.
"The agreement between Regent and NATO SACT enables both parties to benefit from the wealth of expertise that the other has to offer. Based also on a scholarship agreement for SACT staff and their families, all beneficiaries will have access to a variety of very valuable educational benefits," said Minelli, who represents NATO SACT Strategic Issues & Engagement, Academic Outreach.
The agreement establishes a military tuition scholarship for qualified active duty SACT employees, currently nearly 600 employees from NATO's 28 nations, their spouses and dependents, offering a 25 percent discount on tuition for Regent's College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and graduate programs.
David Boisselle, director of Military & Veteran's Affairs, said that international military officers receiving education from Regent will extend the school's global reach even further.
"The mission of the university is 'Christian leadership to change the world,' you come to Regent to get educated, and go back into your professions to shine that Christian light," said Boisselle. "Everyone leaves here emboldened and equipped."
Learn more about Regent University here.
General Mirco Zuliani was inducted into the U.S. "Air University International Honor Roll" on December 3rd. This was in recognition of his achievement as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT).
The U.S. International Officer School named a total of 24 former students to its Honor Roll. This was done in recognition of their military career achievements in their respective countries, rising to Flag and General Officer ranks, and happened in the presence of Ms. Heidi H. Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs.
A plaque engraved with General Zuliani's name and position is now permanently displayed at the school.
During the ceremony, DSACT thanked the President of the Air University for the opportunity to attend the college 22 years ago.
Among the other officers inducted are: Major General Rumen Radev (Commander, Bulgarian Air Force); General Thomas J. Lawson (Chief of Defence Staff, Canadian Armed Forces); Brigadier General Libor Stefanik (Commander Czech Air Force); Colonel Jaak Tarien (Commander, Estonian Air Force); Major General Amir Eshel (Commander, Israeli Air Force); General Harukazu Saitoh (Chief of Staff, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force); Lieutenant General (retired) Khamis S.F. Al Marzouq (Commander, Kuwaiti Air Force); Lieutenant General H. Bart Hoitink (Inspector General, Dutch Armed Forces); Major General Laurian Anastasof (Chief of Romanian Air Force Staff).
The International Honor Roll has over the years recognised 456 military leaders from 97 countries.