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NDC - News-A Journey through Allied Command Transformation and Joint Force Command Norfolk, Now and Into the Future

A Journey through Allied Command Transformation and Joint Force Command Norfolk, Now and Into the Future

  • 22 Mar. 2024
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  • Last updated: 22 Mar. 2024 08:22

On 20 March 2024, NDC Senior Course 144 embarked on a fascinating visit into the depths of NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and Joint Force Command Norfolk (JFC NF) to study the evolving landscape of warfare today and into the future.

Major General Robert Glab delivering his opening remarks

During their visit, Course Members were presented with an array of tailored presentations to equip Course Members with comprehensive and essential knowledge on all aspects related to the evolution of the military instrument of power. They took part in a series of enlightening discussions on ACT's engagements and priorities, covering topics such as the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, Multi-Domain Operations, Digital Transformation and Emerging Disruptive Technologies. Course Members fully appreciated the vital role of NATO Allied Command Transformation, one of NATO's two strategic commands, in leading the warfare development of military structures, forces, capabilities, and doctrines. Such leadership is crucial for navigating the ever-changing landscape of warfare, ensuring that NATO remains at the forefront of strategic innovation and adaptation.

During the visit, Major General Robert Glab, Deputy Chief of Staff Resource Management (DCOS RM) at ACT took the stage to deliver his opening remarks before the NDC delegation, led by Dr. Christopher M. Schnaubelt, Dean and Deputy Commandant of the NATO Defense College. In his address, MGEN Glab explained the frameworks of ACT, emphasizing the crucial link between NATO’s political and military strategies for the next two decades. He underscored the imperative of forecasting the future operative environment and crafting a robust warfare development agenda, crucial to the transformation of military instruments of power. Moreover, he highlighted the significance of fostering collaboration with industries and academia worldwide. DCOS RM reiterated ACT's unwavering commitment to readiness, ensuring preparedness to face the challenges of the future head-on.

The briefing on warfare development shined a spotlight on the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept (NWCC), a central plank to NATO’s deterrence and defense posture. Emphasis was also placed on the need for continuous adaptation and the Warfare Development Agenda (WDA), the framework through which the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) manages the planning and implementation of the NWCC. The discussion then shifted to the impact of technology and digital transformation of warfare, and the imperative for nations to prioritize investments in interoperability, interconnectivity, and capability development. There was also discussion on the significance of understanding the impact of technology, particularly in conflicts like Ukraine, as well as the role of Artificial Intelligence. Multi-Domain Operations (MDOs) were also highlighted for their importance in modern military operations, showcasing how the virtual, cognitive, and physical domains overlap and are affected. All this aligns with NATO's ongoing digital transformation, transitioning from being platform-centric to data-centric, and prioritization of education and training, data management, cloud infrastructure, and Artificial Intelligence, in service of the Alliance's adaptation to MDOs.

Afterwards, Course Members heard from a high-level panel comprised of Flag Officer/General Officer subject matter experts Major General Robert Glab, Major General Dominique Luzeaux, and Brigadier General Ivar Knotten. The panelists delved into diverse topics such as resource management, infrastructure development, data centricity, interoperability, and technological transformation. Course Members explored themes spanning from resource allocation and infrastructure enhancements to technological integration, making for a most enriching Q&A.

The final briefing of the day centered on the Joint Force Command Norfolk (JFC NF), one of NATO's three Joint Force Commands. The session commenced with an overview of JFC NF's background, the strategic context and its operations. The speaker elaborated on the Command’s establishment, military strategy, operating environment, its structure, and national contributions.

The visit to Norfolk concluded with an extraordinary highlight: a captivating tour of aircraft carriers USS Gerald R. Ford and USS George Washington. These visits added immense value to the Course Members' experience, providing them with firsthand insights into the operational capabilities and strategic significance of these naval assets.

As the journey ended, Course Members left enriched with newfound knowledge on Allied Command Transformation and the pivotal role of Joint Force Command Norfolk (JFC NF) in shaping NATO's operational landscape and international security. Insights into warfare development frameworks, digital transformation, and Multi-Domain Operations strengthened their resolve to face upcoming challenges.

NDC Public Affairs Office