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 January 28, 2015

News: Panel will propose new military retirement system - The long-awaited report on military compensation set to drop Thursday will propose fundamental changes to military retirement and health care benefits, according to several people familiar with the report. Source: DOD to request $585 billion for fiscal 2016 - The Department of Defense is preparing to submit a...
 
 

News Briefs January 28, 2015

Defense contractor to pay $2 million to settle claims A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end allegations that it artificially inflated...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned

USS California returns from maiden deployment

Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returns from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London. Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, Ca...
 
 
Army photograph

Army proves new watercraft capabilities

Army photograph Marine Corps assets are loaded onto the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005), from an U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility, or LCU, USAV Port Hudson during port operations, at White Beach Naval Base, Jan. 22, 2015. Sold...
 
 

Orbital stockholders approve merger with ATK’s aerospace, defense groups

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Jan. 27 that at a special meeting, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc., pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor...
 




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>