NATO counter-terrorism programme reaches ten-year milestone

  • 08 Dec. 2014 - 10 Dec. 2014
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  • Last updated: 05 Mar. 2015 08:50

NATO’s Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT POW) marked its tenth anniversary in 2014. NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges (ESC) Division concluded the year by hosting a series of events to showcase its work and achievements.

Testing capabilities

On 8 December, senior officials at the NATO Biometrics Programme Coordination Group (NBPCG) reviewed the year’s progress. The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Assistant Secretary General for ESC Dr Jamie Shea and International Military Staff Intelligence Director Rear Admiral Brett Heimbigner.

In the margins of the meeting, an exhibition presented the capabilities tested in Unified Vision 14, a NATO exercise to test joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance held in May 2014.  The prototype of the NATO Automated Biometric Identification System (NABIS), developed by the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) under the DAT POW was among the exhibits. Experts from the United States National Ground Intelligence Centre, United States European Command, The Netherlands Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)/Biometrics Task Force, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Allied Command Transformation and NCI Agency also attended.

Facing global threats

On 9 December, representatives from NATO Headquarters and ISAF- and KFOR-contributing nations, as well as national governmental organisations gathered at an ISAF Counter-IED “Briefing Day” organised by the ESC Division in coordination with NATO Strategic Commands and other NATO bodies. The sessions concentrated on the focus area “Attack the Network” through a broad range of topics across the following threads: lessons learned from operations, Human Network Analysis in support of Targeting (HNAT), NATO Biometrics Programme of Work and Action plan, and technical exploitation.

This event provided an opportunity for subject-matter experts and operators from the field to discuss and exchange views on the latest trends, projects and initiatives to counter IEDs in the broader perspective of Attack the Network. This will enable the Alliance to develop new capabilities to face global threats and to improve its readiness and interoperability for future theatres of operations,” Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Assistant Secretary General for ESC explained.

A unique programme

Ambassador Ducaru and Peter Flory, former Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment at NATO, attended a special meeting on 10 December to mark the tenth anniversary of the DAT POW.  They reviewed the evolution of the programme, the inclusiveness that has characterised it in terms of nations’ involvement and its wide spectrum of activities.

Dr Shea said, “The DAT POW is a unique programme built on the principle of common funding as a fast route to capability development. Under the DAT POW, individual NATO nations, with support and contributions from other member countries and NATO bodies, lead projects to develop advanced technologies or counter measures which meet the most urgent security needs in the face of terrorism.

The event brought together the broader DAT POW community of interest and included an exhibition of 12 stands illustrating DAT POW current projects, including non-lethal capabilities, countering improvised explosive devices, large body aircraft and defence against mortar attacks, harbour protection, route clearance and biometrics.  Belgium, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States were among the participants.