NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Allied Warfare Development Conference Concludes in Norfolk

December 7, 2023

NORFOLK, Virginia. – NATO Allied Command Transformation hosted the 2023 Alliance Warfare Development Conference, an annual meeting of Flag and General Officers, as well as Senior Civilian decision makers from NATO Nations, designed to foster interaction and collaboration with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and other senior NATO leaders involved with warfare development.

Themed “Shaping Today to Succeed Tomorrow, the conference focused on four main topics of discussion: inform new ideas and concepts, explore the Future Operating Environment, Cross-Domain Command, exchange information regarding the challenges and changes associated with the NATO Defence Planning Process, and look at shared approaches to persistent experimentation.

In his remarks, General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, highlighted the importance of rapid and substantial transformation within the Alliance due to the fast-paced and intense nature of global security landscape; lieutenant general Adamczak, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff, emphasized the significance of NATO’s preparedness for potential conflicts and the need to remain vigilant of future challenges.

Partner Nations Sweden, Austria, Georgia, Ireland and Switzerland also attended the Conference to engage in dialogue and foster cooperation on shared interests, including efforts to meet emerging security challenges.

The Alliance Warfare Development Conference stands as one of the key tools in the strategic warfare development process; Allied Command Transformation employs cutting-edge principles to strengthen the Alliance’s capacity to swiftly respond to threats with an agile military force. To thrive in tomorrow’s world, adapting to changing warfare, leveraging tech, and fostering collaboration are crucial for keeping NATO’s edge. The Conference gathers Allied military & civilian leaders to discuss these challenges, in order to accelerate the transformation of the Alliance, ensuring it remains at the forefront of capability for years to come.

The new approach to Cross-Domain Command will enhance NATO’s adaptability in the face of evolving warfare. By leveraging experimentation & wargaming, Allied Command Transformation enables a better understanding of the complex, contested, and highly dynamic operational environment. Strategic Foresight also plays a crucial role in identifying the trends and trajectories that impact the transformation of NATO. Allied Command Transformation continues to engage in collaborative research & horizon scanning to further enhance the Alliance’s understanding of the future. Allied leaders also discussed the NATO Defence Planning Process: every Ally plays a key role in this process and success relies on seamless cooperation between political & military leaders. The focus should shift from crisis management to collective defence, pairing advanced capabilities and cost-effective mass.

Allied Command Transformation – NATO’s strategic warfare development Command – plays a central role in shaping the future of NATO’s military capabilities. Its mission is to contribute to preserving peace, security, and the territorial integrity of Alliance member states by leading the warfare development of military structures, forces, capabilities, and doctrines. This strategic command ensures that NATO is well-prepared to address evolving security challenges in the ever-changing global landscape. The Alliance Warfare Development Conference, bringing together senior leadership from NATO nations who are responsible for warfare development, enables the promotion of NATO’s warfare development activities, helps to align national warfare development efforts, and builds communities of interest which make NATO an alliance that innovates in order to secure our collective futures.