Bi Force Command Corps Commanders' Conference, reshaping NATO's future

Article by U.S. Army Capt. Tamara Gonzales

High resolution photos

NATO Command Structure and Force Structure commanders gathered in Lille, France, to determine the future of NATO members at the Bi-Force Commands Corps Commanders Conference, March 13 to 15.

This is a venue for exchanging ideas about our future," said the commander of headquarters Rapid Reaction Corps-France Lt. Gen. Gilles Fugier.
The event served as a means for commanders' to discuss NATO's evolving environment. As such, Allied Command Transformation and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe leadership took away key points to discuss at their elements.
Participants included NATO Land Corps commanders, component commands and representatives from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Other organizations were also present such as the Joint Warfare Center, Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence and Allied Command Transformation.
Headquarters Rapid Reaction-France hosted the event and commanders from Allied Force Command Heidelberg and Force Command Madrid co-chaired it.
"Our goal is to develop the conceptual framework for command structure coordination and synchronization of integrated land, air and maritime training support to your corps headquarters," said Commander Allied Force Command Heidelberg Lt. Gen. John Morgan III, who co-chaired the event. "This is the future of alliance land capability."
NATO subject matter experts provided information about joint training support, support to air, maritime and land operations, and synchronizing training to requirements amongst many other topics.
In conjunction with the commander's conference, the command's senior enlisted advisors also met, joining the commanders at the beginning and at a certain point having their own talks.
"The main focus was to discuss the intent of command senior enlisted within the force structure, the NCO strategy within that structure and lay the groundwork for how NCOs can influence the future structure," said Command Sergeant Major Allied Force Command Heidelberg Chief Warrant Officer Mark Saulnier.
The conference also served as an opportunity for attendees to reunite with old friends and acquaintances with an ice breaker and later a commander's dinner and a command sergeant's major dinner. The spouses had a chance to visit the Textile Museum at Roubaix, the Museum of Beaux-Arts, and tour Lille.
"The commands coming together like this fits well with the SACEUR's (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) intent of building a team together," said Senior Noncommissioned Officer, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Command Chief Master Sergeant Richard Small.
Conference results will be discussed at the upcoming Allied Chief of Army Staff Talks.
"Along with the Allied Chief of Army Staff Talks, these meetings provide a valuable source of common voice for Land Command and the structure," said Commander Force Command Madrid Lt. Gen. Alfredo Cardona Torres.