Conference and Workshop at the NATO Defense College: “The Future of Airborne Forces in NATO”
On 12 April 2013, the NATO Defense College hosted a Conference and Workshop entitled “The Future of Airborne Forces in NATO”.
The Conference and Workshop, which were being held for the first time, were an opportunity for in-depth discussion and analysis of prospects for NATO’s airborne forces in the short to mid-term, focusing on ways to enhance interoperability and share best practices, in the light of NATO’s “Smart Defence” and “Connected Forces” initiatives.
This event was organized following a request by MGen J. W. Nicholson (USA A), 82nd Airborne Division, who was the designated speaker for the meeting. Amongst the distinguished participants to the Workshop, was former Chief of UK General Staff (retired) Sir Mike Jackson ( GCB, CBE, DSO, DL).
Dr Richard D. Hooker, Jr., NDC Dean, warmly welcomed the participants and provided an introduction to the opening session.
The Conference and Workshop met in a roundtable format, with a moderator who introduced each topic in turn. Each subject was then followed up by one hour of open discussion.
Proceedings for the Workshop were split into four discussion sessions. The first was entitled “Strategic Relevance of Airborne Forces in NATO Operations”, while the second dealt with the “Common Challenges facing NATO Airborne Forces”. For the third session, the topic was “Building Airborne/Airlift Partnerships”; the fourth and final session was dedicated to “Smart Defence: Building Interoperable Airborne Forces in NATO”.
At the end of the Conference, the Rapporteur issued a report. This will be forwarded to NATO bodies and participating organizations.