Alliance Warfare Development Conference

The Alliance Warfare Development Conference (AWDC) is replacing the Chiefs of Transformation Conference (COTC) as Allied Command Transformation’s annual meeting for Flag Officer/General Officers and Senior Civilian decision makers from NATO nations to interact and collaborate with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and other senior NATO leaders involved with warfare development.

This change reflects the importance of the on-going development and future implementation of the Warfare Development Agenda (WDA) derived from the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept.

This year’s event will take place in Norfolk, Virginia from 7-9 December 2021. Given the nature of the conference, participation will be limited to those invited to attend.

COTC 2020

NATO’s 2020 Chiefs of Transformation Conference took place virtually on Dec. 3. The conference, normally held in Norfolk, Virginia, over a three-day period went virtual to align with NATO COVID-19 guidance.

The Chiefs of Transformation Conference is the only venue where national Chiefs of Transformation from the Alliance have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the senior leadership of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and many other senior NATO leaders involved in innovation and transformation. In 2020, although shortened to one day in a virtual environment, leaders discussed in detail the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept.

More Details on COTC 2020

The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept looks to answer one main question: where will NATO be in 2040? Allied Command Transformation is leading the development of the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, a military concept based on a 20-year warfighting perspective, shaping NATO’s Warfare Development trajectory and informing the development of the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power while also ensuring its effectiveness and employability.

The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, along with Allied Command Transformation’s Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area, operationalises NATO’s 2019 Military Strategy—the first document of its kind in over 50 years.

While the Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area considers the immediate to short-term, the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept proposes an ambitious “North Star” vision for the Alliance’s Warfare Development, aiming to ensure NATO’s military is ready to address future challenges and that the Alliance maintains its warfighting advantage to 2040. This vision aspires to be a military instrument of power which can out-think, out-excel, out-fight, out-pace, out-partner, and out-last any adversary.

The NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept aims to address an important concern: if NATO does not think, organise and act differently than it does today, the Military Instrument of Power will face an eroding advantage. The future success of the Alliance depends on the ability to continually transform to meet tomorrow’s challenges and a steady “North Star” path ensures warfare development will be deliberate, proactive and effective.

Reconsidering the way NATO thinks, organises and acts in order to make best use of resources in its warfare development will allow the Alliance to prepare for a more unpredictable world and respond to the consequences of a changed security environment, enabling NATO’s core mission of defending almost 1 billion people.

The result of over 18 months of concerted effort by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and wide consultation and collaboration with NATO and outside experts, the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept is positioned for approval by NATO Nations in 2021.

COTC 2019

The 2019 Chiefs of Transformation Conference took place from Tuesday, 10 December to Thursday, 12 December 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia. The 2019 COTC sought to interconnect national transformation initiatives with those of Allied Command Transformation, particularly in the areas of innovation, longer-term capability development, and training. The Theme for the 2019 Chiefs of Transformation Conference was "NATO Warfare Development: Innovation & Interoperability- Winning Tomorrow’s War Today" and, with this in mind, the conference agenda was developed to take into account national priorities, opportunities and concerns.

More Details on COTC 2019

There were four syndicate topics, each led by an Allied Command Transformation's Flag Officer / General Officer with support from Nations, Industry, Academia and others, where attending Chiefs of Transformation Conference Principals shared best practices, views and opinions with the aim to identify follow on activities in specific areas of interest. Over the two-day conference, all attendees discussed each of the four topics.

View the consolidated Chiefs of Transformation Conference Report here.

Chiefs of Transformation Conference 2019 topics:

  • "Innovation" led by Lieutenant General Thomas Sharpy
    • Allied Command Transformation and a number of Nations are increasingly focusing on innovation. We need to identify what is the success strategy to foster innovation because technology is already here. Understanding how to build, fuel and drive innovation is the first step to bring all nations on board at the same speed. The NATO Innovation Network offers to nations the opportunity to share ideas, best practices, and combine efforts to tackle the future challenges together.

      View the Innovation Syndicate Report here
  • "Interoperability" led by Brigadier General Poul Primdahl
    • Interoperability is a mind-set that demands a shift in culture. We must not see interoperable capabilities as an afterthought, but think about "interoperability by design" at the very beginning of the capability development process.

      View the Interoperability Syndicate Report here
  • "Resilience" led by Rear Admiral John Tammen
    • NATO leveraging Collaborative Resilience to conduct and sustain operations by preparing for, absorbing, recovering and adapting to the surprise or strategic shock of Hybrid Attack and/or Terror through harmonized and resilient structures, systems and processes enabled by the persistent collaboration across public, military and private stakeholders.

      View the Resilience Syndicate Report here
  • "Human Capital" led by Vice Admiral Alfonso Fernandez De Cordoba
    • As the security landscape grows in complexity, it has never been as important for leadership to adapt their approach to decision making. Developing and enabling our Human Capital to leverage technological advances and innovative approaches to decision making is paramount.

      View the Human Capital Syndicate Report here
  • Command Senior Enlisted Leaders Program led by Sergeant Major Tibor Bogdán
    • NATO Nations’ Chiefs of Defence/Armed Forces level Command Senior Enlisted Leaders/Command Sergeant Majors participated in the 2019 Chiefs of Transformation Conference. The Command Senior Enlisted Leaders program was a new initiation and a disruptive way to deliver Allied Command Transformation’s message and achieve sweeping changes to the perception of the challenges of the Alliance.

      View the Command Senior Enlisted Leaders Program Report here
  • Young Disruptor Contributions
    • Additionally, “young disruptors” were invited to participate and were integrated into each of the syndicate session to share their vision and recognise best practices to identify possible common/shared efforts and to establish a robust network for cooperation in the area of innovation.

      View the Young Disruptors Report here
COTC 2019 Photo Gallery

Points of Contact

If you have any questions please contact the COTC Team listed below:

LTC Jason Pardee (USA A)
Staff Officer Strategic Engagements
Strategic Issues & Engagements Branch (SPP)
Phone: +1 757 747 3344
LTC Tim Bakewell (GBR M)
Staff Officer Strategic Engagements
Strategic Issues & Engagements Branch (SPP)
Phone: +1 757 747 3918