180911coc400NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Headquarters held a change of command ceremony on Sept. 11, 2018.

General Denis Mercier (French Air Force), Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, changed responsibility with Gen. André Lanata (French Air Force).

General Mercier emphasized in his remarks that the command must continue to prepare for new security challenges as NATO’s warfare development command.

“The complexity of our environment requires global strategic awareness and the ability to identify and anticipate future trends and their military and security implications for the Alliance,” said General Mercier. “The integration of innovative solutions and their experimentation will continue to drive Allied Command Transformation’s work, and by sharing the many initiatives developed by our Nations, we can anticipate the interoperability challenges that will arise in the future.”

He also stressed the importance of partnerships within the Alliance.

“No nation or organization can face alone the challenges of the 21st Century,” said General Mercier. “This simple fact makes our Alliance more relevant than ever. Partnerships of all kind are crucial, not an option, but a necessity. I stress the necessity to work with all our partner nations, Centres of Excellence, think tanks, industries and academia. Our success will rely on our capacity to build a relevant ecosystem that extends beyond our traditional defence walls.”

Following the command flag transfer, General Lanata discussed the importance of sacrifice and how the men and women, who serve NATO, will never be forgotten.

“As I received the ACT flag, it brought to mind the various flags worn by the men and women who have given so much to NATO from the Cold War to today in Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten,” said General Lanata. “And even as we speak, soldiers, sailors and airmen continue to defend our core values, and ensure the security of our populations and territories, on land, at sea and in the air. God bless all of them and their families.”

General Lanata concluded with thoughts highlighting Allied Command Transformation’s strong legacy and into the future with resilience.

“Faced with an unpredictable future and multiple threats, we will have numerous challenges to overcome,” said General Lanata. “I am honoured to serve alongside the men and women of the Alliance in the NATO Command and Force Structures, as well as in their national commands and units, who dedicate their lives to peace and security in this world … Let’s move forward! Let us all move forward together!

As one of NATO’s two strategic commands, Allied Command Transformation has been located in the United States since its inception in 2003 and serves as both a symbol and instrument of the transatlantic security link. Military personnel from 26 Allied nations, as well as eight partner nations, serve at Allied Command Transformation to preserve the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states by leading NATO’s warfare development. The principal functions of the command are military foresight, capability development, exercises, education and training and partnership engagement.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Allied Command Transformation continues to innovate and prepare the Alliance for all future security challenges.

For more information on NATO’s Allied Command Transformation mission and leadership biographies click here.

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