Opening remarks

by Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti at the Joint press conference with General Petr Pavel and General Denis Mercier at the the 178th Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session

  • 17 Jan. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 17 Jan. 2018 15:50

(As delivered)

Thank you Petr.

Good Afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you concerning key priorities regarding the NATO Command Structure for Allied Command Operations.

I would like to thank the Chiefs of Defense for their attendance today.  Getting together in this type of setting is always beneficial.

And I want to express my gratitude for the contributions from across the Alliance to NATO Operations and to the defense of Europe.  They are significant and appreciated.

I particularly appreciate how difficult it is for Nations to meet all the requirements and provide all the forces we would like in ACO. 

Today’s strategic context is different than when we made the last NCS change; a resurgence of Russia as a strategic competitor, growing unrest and instability in Africa and the Middle East as well as terrorism is reshaping our strategic environment.

This security environment is compounded by the rapid growth and proliferation of new technologies; technologies that can be acquired by both state and non-state actors.

This underscores the need to adapt to today’s evolving threats.  Our ability to respond requires different approaches, and different capabilities. 

At NATO and especially in ACO, National, bi-lateral, and collective Alliance efforts must be integrated and mutually reinforcing. 

This is fundamental to our success because Strategic Unity keeps us strong.  

And NATO nations are adapting and responding, nationally, multi-laterally, and collectively.  Just consider, operations and activities like enhanced forward presence, tailored forward presence, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, Baltic Air Policing, enhanced Air Policing and our maritime operations that are ongoing to name just a few.

Looking forward, we must maintain a strategic, long-term view coupled with a sense of resilience. . . Efficiency and effectiveness in design and implementation is a priority to propose an organization that is flexible, resilient, and can react at the speed of relevance. 

NATO is charged to be READY and RESPONSIVE.   We must continue to set the conditions and invest now to ensure European security in the future.

I think the need for this is critical to our future success. 

And with that, I’ll hand it over to Denis.