NATO Military Committee visits Allied Command Transformation in Portugal

  • 20 Mar. 2024 - 22 Mar. 2024
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  • Last updated: 22 Mar. 2024 17:13

From 20 to 22 March 2024, at the invitation of General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, the NATO Military Committee travelled to Allied Command Transformation’s Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) in Monsanto, Portugal. The NATO Military Representatives also visited the Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) Headquarters.

Chaired by Lieutenant General Andrew Rohling, Deputy Chair of the NATO Military Committee, the discussions focused on key lines of efforts spearheaded by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, including the work on current and future defence planning, capability development needs for adaptation, and experimentation initiatives. 

In his opening address, General Lavigne highlighted the urgency imposed by the current geostrategic environment, adding that “even through NATO is stronger today than ever before, we are engaged in a race we cannot afford to lose. It’s not a static situation, but one where our adversary is currently building and rebuilding its assets faster than we are.” He also emphasized ‘the need for fast and profound transformation”, noting that “where innovation allows us to deal with rapidly evolving threats, it must also covers all levels including material aspects, as well as cultural and procedural changes.”

While at the JALLC, the NATO Military Committee was briefed by its Commander, Commodore Fernando Artilheiro, on the strategic observations from the war in Ukraine. Insights gleaned from the conflict in Ukraine will enable NATO to build on previous experiences, apply those lessons to future operations and planning, and ultimately, bolster the Alliance's capacity to respond effectively to similar situations in the future.

The ACT visit focused on the significance of adapting and transforming to modern security challenges, initiatives such as the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept and the implementation of NATO’s Warfare Development Agenda, are essential to ensuring the Alliance's effectiveness in responding to existing and future threats. As Lieutenant General Rohling underscored the importance of this visit, “these two days have been an opportunity to build up Allied awareness of NATO’s transformation and the challenges it faces. General Lavigne and his team’s commitment to a faster and deeper transformation of our Alliance is key to our future success.”

The programme also included a briefing by Vice-Admiral Jorge Nobre de Sousa, Deputy Joint Operational Commander, on threats to Portugal’s national security, its ongoing response and its contributions to NATO.

The NATO Military Committee concluded their trip with a visit to the STRIKFORNATO headquarters, where they were welcomed by its Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral James Morley. The 32 Military Representatives received an update on the headquarters’ activities, which provides agile and responsive multi-domain joint effects across NATO area of responsibility, in order to preserve, and if necessary, restore the security and integrity of the Alliance. Addressing the military and civilian staff at STRIKFORNATO, Lieutenant General Rohling thanked them for their ongoing efforts, especially for organising training and exercises, which contribute to the Alliance’s collective deterrence and defence.