Building Concepts Receives Enthusiasm
Exploring innovative visions through dynamic multinational conference and workshops, ACT and US Joint Staff prove imagination and effectiveness compatibility.
"Contributing to Effective and Efficient Capability Development While Providing Return on Investment" was the theme of the 11th Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) Conference, co-sponsored by ACT and the US Joint Staff and supported by the JALLC, which took place in Lisbon in November 2011. This annual event is the leading forum providing an opportunity for CD&E stakeholders to discuss and share information about the most current issues relevant to the CD&E community.
This time the objectives were to create an environment conducive to information sharing and relationship building while highlighting the benefits of CD&E methodologies. Furthermore, it brought international perspectives on ideas, relevant problems and challenges, and explored potential solutions to benefit ongoing projects focused on providing a return on investment.
Participation numbered 242 attendees from 29 nations, NATO, EU, UN, 3 International organisations (IO) and one Non-governmental organisation (NGO), including 11 Flag and General officers (FOGO) or civilian equivalents.
In the opening remarks, the co-sponsors pointed out that CD&E was particularly relevant in this current, fiscally austere environment, and stressed how the community needed to find efficient and effective ways of doing business to produce a solid return on investment from CD&E efforts. Duplicative processes needed to be eliminated, and the community needed to determine how to better coordinate resources and synergize efforts to work together more efficiently. Brigadier General Steven Salazar, pointed out that this had been a transformational year with the disestablishment of USJFCOM, and stressed the need to link CD&E more closely with doctrine and lessons learned. Brigadier General Giovanni Fungo spoke about the history of CD&E, and its aim to evolve and improve.
Highlights of the first day included a Keynote panel with three non-US FOGOs and a panel on CD&E's Role in Capability Development with J7 Joint Concepts to Capabilities Division Chief participation. Other sessions included CD&E Planning and Engagement, and its relationship to the NATO Defence Planning Process; CD&E Best Practices from a German Perspective and Developing Opportunities for CD&E.
Sessions held on the second day included the Joint Experimentation Lifecycle led by the Deputy Director J7 Joint and Coalition Warfighting; Bringing Analytical Rigor to CD&E; a presentation on the Joint Staff Directorate for Force Development; Applying Field Lessons to Capability Development and the role of CD&E; Missile Defence; and a panel on CD&E Organisations and National Programmes.
Over the following days participants broke into five different workshop sessions. Topics, objectives and highlights included:
- Enabling the Joint and Coalition Logistics Enterprise: The stated key objective was to achieve enhanced international utility and relevance of the Joint CD&E project's key product "Logistics Planner's Guide for Complex Emergencies." Outcomes determined that the guide's framework was good but needed to address other perspectives in order to include NATO, coalition nations, IOs and NGOs; raised awareness about its existence and path to operationalise the Joint Logistics Enterprise; and gained an attendee's commitment to participate in continued guide development.
- Testing Potential Solutions in Training Environments: With a key objective to identify new and innovative methodologies to transition experimentation insights into training environments. Workshop participants reached a consensus that advantaging the synergy between experiments and exercises is a must in an era of constrained resources; Modeling and Simulation may be a most difficult aspect between exercises and experiments to reconcile; and ensure an operational perspective is maintained throughout the experiment campaign.
- NATO Sea Basing as a Force Multiplier: The key objective was a better understanding of the value of Sea Basing. The workshop outcome refined the Conceptual Proposal Summary and identified a stakeholder group.
- NATO Collaborative Assessment: The stated key objective was to identify a requirement for NATO Collaborative Assessment. NATO HQ provided clarified views toward the project and identified a stakeholder group. The idea was accepted by the attending experts.
- NATO Red Teaming Capability Development: The workshop objective was to review and comment on key components of NATO's proposed conceptual framework for Alternative Analysis. The outcome validated the need and value for the capability but a different name was required.
The information exchange and professional interaction was deemed deeply instructive stemming mainly from enthusiastic contributions to the innovative workshops. It promises enhanced interest in future CD&E issues at the next conference.
Fungo, in his closing remarks reflected on how CD&E had progressed during the last 10 years. He challenged the audience to think about how it could be improved in all regards, being more effective and efficient. He firmly believed that NATO needed a fast track approach to capability development, and that CD&E had been touted as the solution. It was his intention to reinvigorate CD&E and give it some much needed innovation and creativity, as the keys to success for delivery of NATO capabilities. Also, implementing Smart Defence will require use of NATO's CD&E methodology.
|Back to Cover||Next Article|