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 November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




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>