STAVANGER, Norway – This year’s NATO Military Committee visit to Allied Command Transformation was conducted at the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway, on March 3 and 4, 2020.
The visit to the Joint Warfare Centre, organized by General André Lanata, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, had the overarching aim of engaging the NATO Military Committee on Allied Command Transformation’s Warfare Development Agenda.
Panel discussions, videos, demonstrations and presentations were focused on interoperability, innovation, agility and NATO’s continued deterrence and defence against any attack in the Euro-Atlantic area. These discussions focused on the development of the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept as well as the integrated development of the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power. Allied Command Transformation, as NATO’s Warfare Development Command, leads the military adaptation of the Alliance, contributing to the orientation of nations’ efforts, ensuring coherence, assuring interoperability and delivering the connecting tissue that makes the Alliance’s capability greater than the sum of its individual parts.
General Lanata set the tone of the discussions by explaining the Military Committee’s visit to Allied Command Transformation is, “an opportunity to shift our mindsets from a reactive mode to a proactive mode, and to pull the future into the present, in order to anticipate the right strategy for NATO.” General Lanata added, “the Joint Warfare Centre tests concepts and doctrines in a near-real exercise environment, develops foresight thinking through scenarios, experiments new technological solutions, and improves our education and training. This is the reason why Joint Warfare Centre provides some of the most vital components of Allied Command Transformation’s effort to cope with the challenges of future warfare.”
On the first day of the visit, the NATO Military Representatives were updated on Allied Command Transformation’s current work on NATO adaptation with a particular focus on warfare development, the Transatlantic Bond, Allied deterrence and defence, and the strong commitment to NATO’s three core tasks – collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.
The NATO Military Representatives also received a series of briefings by the Joint Warfare Centre staff that centered on four themes: Managing Complexity, Future Exercise Environment, Training Audience Opportunities and Warfare Development. The Commander of the Joint Warfare Centre, Rear Admiral Jan C. Kaack, addressed the unique aspects of the centre’s mission in linking Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation through major NATO operational exercises, which are more complex and larger than ever before. He said: “The Joint Warfare Centre has a key role in validating doctrinal and experimental concepts and in improving Command and Staff processes and interaction, optimized for warfighting. Our exercises remain the most realistic environment available to achieve this. Complexity and scale is at the very heart of our mission to both provide realistic and testing exercises. And in our role to help NATO’s Command Structure, and the Force Structure, to be ready and to be better. The quality and professionalism of the Joint Warfare Centre crew is central to our success. We are encouraging our staff to innovate and explore new possibilities that will enable us to meet the future growth in ambition for NATO exercises. Working with our partners across NATO and beyond, it is our maxim that: Together, we make NATO better.”
On the second day, NATO Military Committee Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, talked to the Joint Warfare Centre’s “The Three Swords News Channel” about the visit, where he underlined that, “the focus is now on improving our readiness.”
Air Chief Marshal Peach said: “The Joint Warfare Centre has a vital role to play in preparing our commanders because the NATO Command Structure is a very important part of our capability. We will continue to use the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, under the command of Allied Command Transformation, to develop our leaders for this generation and the next. (…) It is all about the multi-domain approach; it’s about the fusion of the tactical with the operational level and the strategic level to deliver command teams across the Alliance that are fit for the purpose.”
Air Chief Marshal Peach added: “The Joint Warfare Centre, clearly, is an excellent team. I think all the people I have spoken to will return to their nations stronger for the experience here in Stavanger.”