On 14 November 2022, the NATO Military Committee conducted an Away Day at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons. The NATO Military Representatives gathered, together with key leadership of ACO, to discuss the way ahead for the Alliance’s adaptation towards collective defence.
Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer, opened the day, expressing words of appreciation for the work done so far in a drastically changed security situation on NATO’s doorstep. During the last 30 years, we were primarily focused on wars and missions of choice. In the recent period, we have been working more and more on plans to collectively defend the Alliance. We understand the complexity of the topics as we incorporate new concepts, new domains”, he said, highlighting the need for creating understanding and support for the plans, and making sure required forces and command and control structures.
Welcoming the Military Committee, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Christopher Cavoli provided an in-depth overview of the DDA Family of Plans, the delineation of the roles and responsibilities of the Joint Force Commands and the Component Commands, insight on the current force posture challenges and his principles and thoughts for the Command and Control structure way forward. General Cavoli described DDA implementation as the Alliance’s return to collective defence.
“Enablement of SACEUR’s Area of Responsibility is an essential component of DDA and NWCC, and will remain a substantial element of the Strategic Commanders’ NATO 2030 requirements as endorsed at the Madrid Summit”, reiterated Admiral Bauer in his final remarks. Maintaining a credible deterrence and an effective defence are the key focus points in the upcoming months.
Overall, the Away Day offered an opportunity to reiterate the importance of leveraging interdependencies and synergies amongst Deterrence and Defence strands, as the complexity of challenges faced by NATO intensify and as the Alliance looks at the upcoming Vilnius Summit in 2023.