‘In blink of eye, challenges of tomorrow will be here’, notes Director General of NATO International Military Staff


The Director General of the NATO International Military Staff (DGIMS), Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak, participated in the Alliance Warfare Development (AWD) Conference, which took place from 6 to 8 December in Norfolk, Virginia, US. Tthis year’s event was themed “Better Today, Stronger Tomorrow” and brought together key NATO and Allied representatives to discuss how the Alliance can better prepare and respond to a more complex and an ever-changing security environment.

The AWD Conference is NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) flagship event. This year, it gathered 150 representatives from Allied Nations, the NATO Command and Force Structures as well as other NATO agencies and entities. “ACT’s mission is to propose the adaptation, evolution and transformation of NATO’s Military Instrument of Power, in order to fulfil the Alliance’s missions, and ambition. For that, we must first anticipate the future operating environment”, stated General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, in his opening remarks. He added that “to this end, we are developing together a vision for the future of NATO’s Military Instrument of Power. A vision based on multi-domain operations to enable us to think, plan and conduct faster than our adversaries, across all domains”.

In his keynote address, Lieutenant General Adamczak highlighted how the Alliance’s future success depends on its ability to continuously transform to meet tomorrow’s challenges and long-term planning to ensure warfare development is deliberate, proactive and effective. He went on to explain that, as challenges become simultaneous and persistent, “Command and Control structures need to adapt to enable multi-domain, less geographically-bound, warfare. ACT’s lead on transformation and development are key to ensuring the Alliance is always one step ahead”. He also praised ACT’s work “in placing NATO and its Allies ahead of any potential adversaries, by enabling the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power to build and maintain its decisive military advantage – ensuring the Alliance has the necessary capabilities to counter any threat, from any direction”.

Against this backdrop, the plenary session explored the interlinkages between the NATO Defence Planning Process, the Warfighting Development Agenda and NATO’s Capability Development. “We are now in a new era of collective defence. We don’t have the luxury of focusing solely on the challenges of today, because in the blink of an eye, the challenges of tomorrow will be here”, stressed General Adamczak. Participants also discussed multi-domain operations, NATO’s digital transformation, interoperability challenges, cognitive superiority and ongoing innovation efforts.

Prior to the AWD Conference, Lieutenant General Adamczak visited ACT and the Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk. While at ACT, he met with General Lavigne and was briefed on current work strands focused on NATO’s adaptation, including NATO’s Warfighting Capstone Concept and the implementation of NATO’s Warfare Development Agenda. During his visit to JFC Norfolk, the Director General met with Commander Vice Admiral Daniel Dwyer and discussed the Operational Command’s main activities, dedicated to maintaining the Alliance’s maritime readiness and responsiveness, deterring aggression and defending Allies in the North Atlantic and High North.

Public Release. More on this here.