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141120smc400The annual Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Senior Mentor Conference was hosted by Deputy Commander, General Mirco Zuliani, from 19 to 20 November at the ACT Staff Element Europe in Mons, Belgium.

Senior Mentors are former Flag or General Officers that assist and advise NATO Commanders and staffs on the conduct of their operations. The main focus is the different phases of the NATO Response Force (NRF) training and exercise model.

For the first time the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), US Air Force General Breedlove participated in the discussion.

"SACEUR's participation is a recognition that the missions of the two Strategic Commanders, more than ever, are intertwined and this is pivotal for the NATO military accomplishments, said DSACT.

General Breedlove expressed his appreciation as "first costumer" of the job that the Senior Mentors already have done and that they are going to do in the future. In this regard he is seeking the mentors' assistance in tutoring the various NATO Command Structure (NCS)/NATO Force Structure (NFS) headquarters. SACEUR stated that he is of the opinion the NATO Response Force Command and Control (C2) arrangements will change in the immediate future, due to the Ukraine crisis.

General Zuliani said during his welcome remarks that "events like [the Senior Mentor conference] play a fundamentally valuable role in helping the Alliance's Military Leadership to focus its efforts, and adapt to future challenges more effectively".