World

September 17, 2012

NATO transformation chief encourages ‘smart defense’ strategy

Despite fiscal challenges, NATO members should work together to develop the right capabilities to adapt to future challenges, NATO’s top transformation officer said in Washington, D.C., Sept. 17.

At a Pentagon news conference, Gen. Stephane Abrial of the French air force, NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation, encouraged the use of the alliance’s “Smart Defense” strategy for the future.

The strategy calls for pooling and sharing capabilities, setting priorities and coordinating efforts better.

“What we need to do is to make sure that through transformation we continue to enhance the alliance’s cohesion, [and] we continue to work hard on our interoperability, our ability to work together side by side and to collaborate,” he said.

The French general noted NATO already has an “intellectual and technical flexibility” to adapt, as evidenced by a “string of strategic surprises” in the world’s history.

“We cannot think that we can imagine everything, but we must make sure that we can adapt to every new environment,” Abrial said.

Two ways to be prepared, he said, are the main initiatives endorsed by the alliance’s heads of state and government at the Chicago Summit last May – initiatives NATO officials call Smart Defense and connected Forces.

“Smart Defense is the will to do more things at the multinational level in the field of capability development,” Abrial said. “Again, when we are faced with the fiscal difficulties in all our nations, there are more and more things that a nation cannot do alone anymore. Therefore, we need to find how to do it more together. This is the spirit of Smart Defense, how to be more efficient in developing capabilities and the best of ways of doing things together, and it works well.”

Abrial said the mindset on addressing capability is changing, and NATO is proving the validity of the concept through projects and proposals already under way.

“We’ve got 24 projects which are now agreed by the nations and being implemented, and we have good hopes that at least 10 more will be agreed before the end of the year,” he said. “All together, we have more than 150 proposals on which we work now, hard, to deliver with capabilities needed in the future.”

In pursuing Smart Defense, he added, the alliance has worked hard and closely with European Union institutions.

The European Union, he noted, has a similar initiative called “pooling and sharing.” This, he said, makes it necessary for the respective staffs to work closely to avoid duplication and provide complementary capabilities to an enduring effort.

The Connected Forces concept, Abrial said, is “totally complementary” to the Smart Defense initiative.

“We need to emphasize the way we enforce the human interoperability and the technical interoperability,” he said. “How do we improve education and training? How do we enhance exercises? And how do we make a better use of technology?”

Connected Forces means using the capabilities developed through Smart Defense efficiently, the general said. “These two initiatives are totally complementary and look way ahead into the future of NATO and will help us maintain visibility to face emerging challenges and to meet the level of ambition which our nations have decided upon,” he added.

A strong relationship with industry is important in the two concepts and part of NATO’s efforts to make them succeed, Abrial said. Though his organization does not deal with procurement, he said, it must work closely with the defense industrial base on both sides of the Atlantic to understand coming capabilities and what can be delivered in the future.

“[This way, the] industry is as informed as possible about our vision of the future strategic and operational environments,” Abrial said. “And the combination of the two will help us develop capabilities in the best way.”

Abrial, who assumed his post three years ago, will relinquish it later this month. During his tenure, he said, he has worked to keep NATO’s focus on tomorrow.

“Transformation means prepare for whatever could happen tomorrow,” the general said. “And tomorrow can physically be tomorrow, the day after, or could mean 30 years from now.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>