Proceed with the change and welcome the Future

Posted by on Dec 26, 2011 in Articles | 17 comments

..The AFCEA Student Club and the Representati, GEves had the opportunity this year to be a part of an event co-organized by NATO C3 Agency and hosted by AFCEA Europe.


The annual NC3A Industry Conference was conducted under the common purpose of explaining the changes that will occur after the Declaration of the renovation of the Command Structure of the NATO Alliance.

A small preview of what will occur in the Chicago Summit in 2012, was given by the new Secretary of Defense of the United States, Mr. Leon Panetta, in his October 5th speech, in Brussels. That was a briefing for what would be discussed two weeks later in Heidelberg GE.
The Ministers of Defense and the NATO Secretary General agreed to the fact that the Alliance has to be more efficient, capable and deployable in its operations so changes are unavoidable.

We will explore the restructuring from the NC3A’s angle , but first let us underline some reasons for which the new strategic development was required and that active engagement and modern defense were claimed as common goals.

There was an initiative for alteration and the Reasons became obvious when the cut in the U.S. Defense budget was issued. The Congress stated that within the next 10 years a reduction of $450 billion should occur, while European countries decrease their budgets by 2% for the last ten years. So, the Alliance decided to face the problem and find a solution by making the Command structure more flexible.

Another reason was the need to increase efficiency and effectiveness in decision making. This was practically realized in NATO’s intervention in Libya, which was the first case of a decision being made so fast. The operation was held after only six days to be more precise. This made the Alliance wonder if fewer actors could be proven more adequate and presented a new question: “Would a collective approach would be more efficient? “.

Main issues include Missile Defense, Cyber Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Energy Security which was proven to be a major threat a few years ago. Because the actors introducing these threats are asymmetric, it is difficult to predict their intensification as Lieutenant Walter E. Gaskin – NATO Military Committee stated.

We shall now give a brief description of The Path from NC3A to C&I. The redesign of the structure, capabilities, alliances and new technical aspects were characterized by MGen (ret) George D’hollander, General Manger of NATO C3 Agency as “Entering in a new paradigm”. From July 2012 NC3A will be included in the Communications and Information Agency. Furthermore, two seperate agencies will be included in the Alliance, the Support agency and the Procurement agency.

From the view of legal transformation, Ms. Simona Rossi, Chief Legal Advisor, analyzed the implications that might occur during the transition; the new name of the agency will change but the legal personality of NC3A will remain the same and their culture too.

From the business point of view, it was made clear that NC3A still desires “Effective Industrial Engagement” as characterized by Mr. David Burton Director Sponsor Account Allied Command Transformation and Chief Technology Officer. Also, further collaboration with new actors is to be established, in order to prove that they analyzed their new and existing projects and how those will progress within the next months.

Doing Business with NC3A will conclude to contract opportunities, reaching close to 1.47 billion Euro, in long term or short term projects that initiate from 2012 and on. Missile Defense, Cyber Defense, Satellite Communication, Monitoring and Surveillance, as well as the NATO new Headquarters are in a list of thirteen projects, starting from 9 and estimated to reach 500 million. As it was mentioned by Lieutenant Walter E. Gaskin – NATO Military Committee, the Alliance is trying to be “Agile, cost effective and more capable” so, these projects will have the idea of Smart Defense initiated in them.

In order to Cope with global change NATO introduced new ways which will enable the Alliance to confront the global economic changes. “Smart Defense” is the main approach, which in the European ground is known as “Pulling and Sharing”. Operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya and the Horn of Africa can drive the Alliance down in terms of cost so, the following core tasks – stated under the Lisbon Summit – should come into effect soon:

a. Full cooperation among All Alliance members

b. Full range of capabilities to defend against any threat

c. Command and Force structure

d. Information sharing networks

e. Increase of flexibility and Interoperability

These steps will ultimately result in having effective Crisis Management and a Collective Defense, in order to initiate efficient decision-making and Cooperative Security. NC3A desires to initiate a stronger bond between the Nations, since bilateral and multilateral cooperation development will sustain growth by 2015, as stated by Dr. Velizar Shalamanov.

The key concept is efficiency and the main goal is security against emerging threats.

Time to proceed with the change and welcome the Future


Klaudia Tani, DEREE – The American College of Greece
Graduate, School of Business Administration,  International Business and European Affairs Representative


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