NATO Senior Enlisted Leadership Enhance Transformation Discussions at COTC 2019

191212csel.jpgNORFOLK, Va. – NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Headquarters hosted the 2019 Chiefs of Transformation Conference at the Hilton Norfolk “The Main” from Dec. 11 to 12.

The conference, presented by General Andre Lanata, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, focused on warfare development initiatives for the NATO Alliance. Through small group “breakout sessions,” senior (officer and enlisted) leadership engagements, industry demonstrations, and the Young Disruptors Forum, critical topics were discussed related to Innovation, Interoperability, Hybrid/Counter-Terrorism connected to Resilience and Human Capital. The theme of the conference this year was, “NATO Warfare Development: Innovation & Interoperability - Winning Tomorrow’s War Today.”

During the closing plenary, General Lanata stressed the importance of conferences, like Chiefs of Transformation Conference, that provide a platform for Member Nations and Partners to enhance collaboration, best practices, connect and share information.

“Thank you for the discussions and actionable outcomes over the past two days of dialogue,” said General Lanata.” I am deeply convinced that 29 Nations will continue to succeed and I trust the power of our network.”

Command Senior Enlisted Leaders from 18 NATO Member Nations joined the conference conversations to demonstrate the importance of collaboration, at all levels.

“Allied Command Transformation leaders are committed to the ‘bottom-up approach’ as we give more opportunities to articulate a non-commissioned officer’s opinions on current and future challenges of the Alliance,” said Command Sergeant Major Tibor Bogdan (Hungarian Army), NATO Allied Command Transformation Senior Enlisted Leader. “By having non-commissioned officers next to the Chiefs of Defence, and strategic-level leaders, there is a chance to learn how we all can work cohesively together for NATO. The entire story of transformation includes military, officer and enlisted, and our civilian counterparts.”

Throughout the conference, CSELs participated in breakout sessions and meetings to discuss the best ways to improve Alliance innovation initiatives that benefit military enlisted and officers alike.

Senior Master Sergeant Vanessa Reeves (U.S. Air Force), assistant to the NATO Allied Command Transformation Senior Enlisted Leader, reemphasized the significance of senior enlisted leadership and the need for them to be fully integrated within NATO.

“NATO must continue to value the perspectives and unique experiences of National senior enlisted leaders,” said Senior Master Sergeant Reeves. “The enlisted community works closely with Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen every day. Leadership, like Command Sergeant Major Bogdan, ensure that the needs and concerns of our enlisted members are addressed. All voices must be heard in order for NATO to evolve and improve communication, at every military rank, moving into the future.”

Chiefs of Transformation Conference is a key annual event that shares a higher-level of understanding on future security challenges, innovation and transformation. National Chiefs of Transformation, from across the Alliance and Partner Nations, work with Nations to drive interaction and discussion on National transformation initiatives and longer-term capability development with NATO’s senior leadership.