NATO Military Committee visit SHAPE, NATO’s strategic warfighting headquarters
On Monday 16 October 2023, the NATO and Invitee Military Representatives headed down to SHAPE for a series of briefings, including an update on the headquarters' transition from strategic command to warfighting command and the ongoing implementation of the regional plans as well as ongoing and upcoming exercises.
After a welcome by Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Chris Cavoli, the Military Representatives received an introduction to the ongoing exercise STEADFAST JUPITER 23, a command and control exercise, designed to rehearse and challenge NATO’s enhanced plan for Deterrence and Defence, bolstering allied interoperability across 24 headquarters, from strategic to the tactical levels of warfighting. General Cavoli highlighted that STEADFAST JUPITER 2023 is the first exercise, where the training audience is utilising the concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA) Family of Plans to validate processes and procedures across the ACO community and SHAPE’s adaptation to a strategic warfighting headquarters.
Following the Vilnius Summit and the decisions to further strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture, SHAPE is taking a more holistic approach by implementing the DDA across all domains. As such, SHAPE is adapting its role, tasks and responsibilities to optimise its capacity to operate as NATO’s strategic warfighting headquarters. The ongoing changes will allow it to incorporate all the tools of the Alliance to deter, and if needed, defeat any adversaries, for 24 hours a day in continuous and contested environments.
Admiral Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee, highlighted that “these changes are essential to our Alliance, especially as NATO is transitioning from an era of crisis management to a new era of collective defence. We have a responsibility to keep our territory and our 1 billion people safe, but that means adapting and evolving to respond to current and growing threats”.