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

  • 16 May. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 16 May. 2018 21:59

Thank you Peter and to each of you here.

Good Evening.  Thank you for coming tonight. 

First I would like to make a comment and thank Peter. Thank for your service here, you have led the NATO Military Committee through a period of significant change.  And your impacts will last for a long time. Under your leadership ACO and ACT, in coordination with your staff have laid the foundation for NATO’s adaptation and future, and I have deeply enjoyed working with you. You’ve been a great supporter of the work I have done as well and I wish you the best in the future.

I would also like to thank Dennis, General Mercier, my battle buddy here, as the other Commander. Under Dennis’ leadership, Allied Command Transformation continues to innovate through various technologies that allow Allied Command Operations the warfighting capacity and capability needed to strengthen our posture and be ready for the future.

And what we have been able to do is only been possible because I have a great team mate here, and our teams have worked closer than perhaps ACO and ACT has ever done I think in the history of NATO. Our teams are good teams and I appreciate your support in that regard. 

Today marks the first MCCS in the new building, this is quite an auditorium. I guess the architecture of this to represent unity and I would tell that meetings that we had in here today also were a good demonstration of Alliance unity and the strength of the Alliance.  

I would like to thank the Chiefs of Defence for their attendance today and working with us, as Dennis and I and Petr presented the issues he noted.

As we work to address NATO Command Structure Adaptation initiatives, I see Allied Command Operations as a highly proficient and agile Command, dedicated to the planning and execution of NATO Operations, and providing resilient and effective mission Command with standing and deployable Headquarters; a command ready and relevant to the full range of missions and the changing, complex environment, and working in close cooperation with our Nations and Partners. 
NATO is charged and ready. It’s responsive – and we test this on a daily basis through our operations, activities, and exercises.

In Iraq, we are investing in capacity building and training efforts with enabling countries and will continue to enhance resilience and security in Iraq.  At the last Defence Ministerials, we were charged with planning a NATO training mission in Iraq following requests from the Iraqi government and the Global Coalition.  We are working hard on this plan to ensure we are contributing to the development of the Iraqi security institutions and to the long term stabilization of Iraq.

On NATO exercises, such as Trident Juncture 2018, this an important element of the Alliance’s readiness and continued adaptation to new security challenges. They ensure our troops are able to respond to threats from any direction and demonstrate that the Alliance stands ready to defend all Allies and is committed to protecting our shared values.

Our military service members are trained and ready.  The commitment to the mission is unwavering, demonstrated through our vigilance and warfighting readiness. But today we are in a challenging environment, so therefore we must remain committed to this Alliance—the greatest Alliance in history. 

And we must remain united in our collective resolve as we look to future challenges and how we will meet them.  And we must remain dedicated to preserving a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace, and I am confident we can do so, particularly with the recommendations that were taken today. 

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