NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Allied Command Transformation: Learning from Ukraine

May 23, 2023


NORFOLK, VA – Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine undermines global security and stability, blatantly violates international law, and drastically changes the threat landscape of the world. Colonel Hennadiy Kovalenko, Staff Officer and National Liaison Representative for Ukraine, shares valuable insights and builds strong relationships at Allied Command Transformation.

Relations between NATO and Ukraine began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in 1991. In 1994, Ukraine joined the Partnership for Peace programme, which enabled bilateral cooperation with NATO. Although Ukraine is not a member nation of the Alliance, NATO stands with the people of Ukraine, in support of its legitimate, democratically elected president, parliament, and government. NATO Allies continue to support the Ukrainian right to self-defence through the provision of weapons, equipment, training, and humanitarian aid.

Colonel Hennadiy Kovalenko of the Ukrainian Air Force, known to many as “Colonel H,” currently serves at Allied Command Transformation as a National Liaison Representative for Ukraine. His extensive experience provides Allied Command Transformation staff with unique perspectives and analysis on the evolution of the strategic security environment, as well as operational lessons learned from Ukraine. “To my friends at NATO Allied Command Transformation, I thank you for your help and assistance. We will never forget,” shared Colonel Kovalenko, who will return to Ukraine after his tour in Norfolk, VA.

Colonel Kovalenko has a depth of education and experience, having graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies as well as King’s College in London. He also studied at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies, and completed The McCain Global Leaders Program. Colonel Kovalenko previously served in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, as well as the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He has been providing ongoing operational support and assistance to Ukrainian forces within the Multinational Joint Commission on Defence Reform and Security Cooperation with Ukraine.

Allied Command Transformation works to improve NATO’s ability to better understand strategic challenges and adapt to changing requirements for the deterrence and defence of over one billion citizens. Modernization and transformation of the Military Instrument of Power is vital to the success of the Alliance; important lessons from the Russian war of Ukraine include national resilience, subject matter expert integration, and implementation of multi-domain operations.