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Thread: NATO Lisbon Summit - general matters and policy

  1. #21

    NATO Sec Gen Calls for More EDA-NATO Cooperation

    By JULIAN HALE

    Published: 30 Sep 2011 13:43

    BRUSSELS - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for greater cooperation between NATO and the European Defence Agency (EDA) to reduce costly duplication of effort.

    Speaking at a European Policy Centre event here Sept. 30 looking ahead to the alliance's Chicago summit next year, Rasmussen said that "in a time of economic austerity and in a long-term perspective, we should avoid duplication and waste of money. We should coordinate and merge some projects."

    Asked how industry could help, he said that "military equipment is becoming more and more expensive" and that "industry could help by ensuring prices don't rise so fast."

    He also said opening up defense markets, as the European Commission is trying to do with a new European Union defense procurement directive, could help.

    Complicated political problems prevented agreements on EU-NATO security arrangements in theater, he said, and these were generally resolved on "an ad hoc basis." The EU and NATO can only officially consult on Bosnia and cannot discuss Afghanistan, Libya and Kosovo operations, he said. "We know that the Cyprus dispute is at the origin of this and don't expect rapid progress on this," he said.

    He urged Russia to "cooperate actively" in NATO's missile defense shield project. Specifically, he said he envisages a NATO and a Russian missile defense system with two joint centers through which data could be exchanged and joint threat assessments produced.

    "We have no intention to attack Russia and I don't think Russia intends to attack us," he said, referring to a 1997 agreement in which both sides agreed not to use force against each other. He went on to describe a NATO-Russia summit at Chicago in 2012 as "an option" but that depends on "real substance and concrete results to deliver."

    Regarding out-of-area operations, he said NATO had "no intention to intervene in Syria or other countries." In the case of Libya, there was a U.N. mandate and strong support from the region for NATO action, he said, but "neither condition was fulfilled for Syria or any other country."

    NATO's core purpose is territorial defense of its member states, he said, but it "stands ready to protect our territories and populations if conflicts emerge."

    Cyberspace is clearly emerging as a growing NATO priority.

    "Defense of our territories may start beyond our territories, even in cyberspace," he said. On Sept. 20, NATO's Command, Control and Communications Agency launched a 28 million euro ($37.7 million) call for cyberdefense procurement. Rasmussen referred to cyberdefense and strategic transport as being among the priorities to be unveiled in his proposals for pooling and sharing among NATO countries, known as his "smart defense package."

    Cybersecurity, he said, might be an area where NATO would consult with partner countries with specific expertise and which share the same security concerns. "This will be done on an ad hoc basis," he said.

  2. #22

    Ares

    A Defense Technology Blog

    NATO Names Smart Defense Envoys


    Posted by Nicholas Fiorenza at 10/4/2011 4:26 AM CDT

    Previewing the 5-6 October defense ministers meeting in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen yesterday named the smart defense envoys he will send to alliance capitals to discuss multinational defense cooperation projects. The envoys are Allied Commander Transformation, French air force General Stéphane Abrial, and Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero.


    NATO photo

    Rasmussen first announced that he would appoint a smart defense envoy while addressing the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) industry day in London on 12 September. He said at the time that the envoy "will work hand-in-hand with nations, as well as with industry, to identify where we can get more from multinational cooperation." Smart defense is an initiative Rasmussen launched at the Munich Security Conference last February which combines prioritization, specialization and multinational solutions.

    Rasmussen said yesterday that the defense ministers' meeting will discuss an ACT report "with a number of concrete proposals as to how allies can cooperate on acquiring military capabilities as well as conducting operations like training, logistics, maintenance of military equipment."

    Another subject to be discussed by defense ministers is how to fund operations by the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. Following the withdrawal of several nations, 13 NATO member states are now pooling their resources to procure the system, based on the Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, but the United States is leading an effort for all 28 NATO nations to fund AGS operations. This is meeting with resistance from countries like France, which withdrew from the program and prefers to use the funding for national programs. This is an example of the difficulties Rasmussen's smart defense envoys face.

  3. #23

    Ares

    A Defense Technology Blog

    Given Europe's Chickens, Fox Sides with NATO


    Posted by Robert Wall at 10/5/2011 12:25 PM CDT

    The U.K. may be one of the two most important military powers in the European Union, but when it comes to EU defense, don't come knocking in London.

    That's the message U.K. defense secretary, Liam Fox, has clearly articulated during the Conservative party conference today in Manchester. Not only is Fox firmly backing NATO over an EU defense establishment, he almost snears at those with other ideas.

    Fox points out that many of those countries calling for an EU defense establishment fail even in meeting their NATO commitments. “You cannot expect to have the insurance policy but ask others to pay the premium for you," he tells party members in reference to some allies that are not fully funding their defense commitments.

    Furthermore, Fox says it is "nonsense" to try to duplicate what is in NATO within the EU, particularly at a time of money saving efforts targeting a streamlining of the NATO structure. And, the Euro-sceptic defense secretary adds "the last thing we need is more EU bureaucracy."

    "NATO must maintain its primacy in European defense, because NATO is the alliance that keeps the United States in Europe. That is not a luxury, it is a necessity," Fox argues.

  4. #24

    Germany Eyes Streamlined Procurement

    By ALBRECHT MÜLLER

    Published: 7 Oct 2011 13:51

    BONN - Germany's permanent secretary at the Defense Department urged greater European cooperation in major weapon system purchases because the unit cost of large systems have become far too costly.

    Speaking at a German Aerospace Industries Association event, Stéphane Beemelmans said the Bundeswehr's restructuring also will have consequences to the industry but advised against too much pessimism.

    "In my office, the Occident perishes 10 times a day," he said.

    "So far we [Europe] found correct and incorrect answers," Beemelmans said.

    From the developmental point of view, the A400M transport aircraft had been the right choice. An economically wrong choice, on the other hand, was the development of two individual fighter jets.

    In Germany, the industry will also have to cope with a different military procurement system.

    "We have to come to a procedure in which the user gets his requirements fulfilled in an appropriate time," Beemelmans said. In the future, the chiefs of staff will determine a capability gap. After a proposal has been worked out, market surveys are supposed to give an overview on equipment to buy or to develop. In the end, the chief of staffs will decide.

    In this context, Beemelmanns compared the future military and defense industry with car buyers and manufacturers. Customers will not wait for a future-generation vehicle from one manufacturer if they need to buy a car today. They will get what they need from another manufacturer instead.

    Future weapon development means accepting that a capability gap remains, and buying today means closing that gap. But for both, there has to be enough money.

    "A gap, which I need 15 years to close, is difficult to justify politically," Beemelmans said. "After all, I live with that gap for 15 years."

    The basis for the Bundeswehr restructuring "is primarily not an industrial-political question. It has industrial-political aspects but is primarily a security-political issue," he said.

    However, the future size of the Bundeswehr has also been determined by demography. Sustaining a larger force over the next 10 years is not achievable. In the 1980s, there was a pool of 600,000 young men; today, there is a pool of 600,000 young men and women combined.

  5. #25

    Letter Leaks Potential German Defense Cuts

    By ALBRECHT MÜLLER

    Published: 19 Oct 2011 13:54

    BONN - Germany is planning extensive cuts to some of its largest defense programs, according to a leaked letter signed by Defense Secretary Thomas de Maiziere.

    The letter to the parliament's defense committee, obtained by Reuters news agency, stated that Typhoon combat aircraft, Tiger attack helicopters, NH90 transport helicopters, Puma armored vehicles and Euro Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft are among 20 large programs being considered for cuts.

    On the air side, Reuters reported that Typhoon numbers would be reduced by 37 to 140. The Tiger order would be halved to 40, and 80 NH90s would be purchased instead of the planned 122. Euro Hawk, a development of Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk ordered by Germany for signals intelligence work, could see numbers reduced from six to four.

    Eurofighter partners Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain have been looking to end Typhoon deliveries to their own air forces with completion of the Tranche 3A order signed in 2009.

    Armored vehicle casualties could include a cut in the order for the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle from 410 to 350. according to the letter. The number of Leopard II main battle tanks operated by the Army could be reduced from 350 to 225.

    The German Defense Ministry wants to redirect cash saved into new defense programs.

    The defense minister is meeting with defense industry representatives today to discuss a way forward, according to Reuters.

    News of the potential cuts, which emerged Oct. 18 when Reuters published the letter's contents, came on the same day de Maiziere announced he was setting aside more than 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) to fund the costs of planned reductions in military and civilian personnel numbers over the next few years.

    Some of the money will also go toward more attractive terms and conditions to recruit specialists, as well as better pay and conditions for the remaining military and civilian personnel.

    The current 206,000-strong German military is set to be reduced to 170,000 personnel by 2017. The number of civilian personnel is set to drop from 68,000 to 55,000. This is to be achieved via tax-free payoffs of up to 100,000 euros per person. Career soldiers over the age of 50 will be offered an early retirement with full pension.

    To finance these measures - part of a wider Defense Ministry reform effort - the ministry plans to spend an additional 200 million euros in 2012, 250 million euros in 2013 and 300 million euros in both 2014 and 2015.

  6. #26

    Ares

    A Defense Technology Blog

    More Details Of German Cuts


    Posted by Nicholas Fiorenza at 10/24/2011 11:04 AM CDT

    Robert already had the scoop on German defense cuts the middle of last week, but the German ministry of defense has given more details.


    Boxers in Afghanistan (Bundeswehr photo)

    The army will not see any cuts in the procurement of 272 Boxer armored transport vehicles, 765 Fuchs armored personnel carriers or 212 Fennek armored reconnaissance vehicles. In addition to cutting the procurement of the Puma armored infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) from 410 to 350, existing Leopard 2 main battle tanks will be reduced from 350 to 225 and the MARDER AIFV will be phased out.

    In addition to the Luftwaffe cuts Robert reported, the procurement of SAATEG medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles will be reduced from 22 to 16 and existing Patriot air defense systems will be more than halved from 29 to 14.

    The German navy will not see any cuts in its eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, six U212 submarines, five corvettes, four F123, three F124 or four F125 frigates. But its eight F122 frigates will be retired and the number of MKS 180 multi-role warships will be reduced from eight to six. Thirty naval helicopters will still be procured to replace the navy's 21 Sea Kings and 22 Sea Lynxes.

  7. #27

    NC3A hit-list to aid ISAF handover

    25 October 2011 - 11:40 by Andrew White



    NATO’s Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) highlighted a series of ‘major opportunities’ soon to be available to member states during a meeting in Heidelberg, Germany, on 18 October.

    The hit-list, according to the organisation, is designed to ‘underpin’ NATO’s new strategic concept to counter complex security challenges and amounts to approximately €1.47 billion in projects over the next two years.

    Specifically, this includes investment in satellite communications (SATCOM); cyber security; missile defence; and ISR capabilities. The strategy is designed to enable the alliance to ‘counter modern security threats, further the transition strategy in Afghanistan, and undertake missions where and when necessary’.

    According to Georges D’hollander, NC3A General Manager: ‘This is very tangible proof of the alliance’s commitment to the vision laid out in the new Strategic Concept – modern defence that is able to counter complex security challenges.

    ‘Under Secretary General Rasmussen, NATO is pursuing greater efficiency and effectiveness, cutting costs, consolidating agencies and reforming structures, but also investing in state-of-the-art capabilities to protect 900 million citizens from both traditional and modern security threats,’ he continued.

    Projects include communications support to military police and ISAF in Afghanistan as NATO hands over security operations to indigenous forces; SATCOM in order to enable NATO to mount ‘complex operations’ when necessary; maritime information systems for counter-piracy missions; and other capabilities to allow member states to share information. NC3A said most of the projects were slated to start this year or next.

  8. #28

    German Defence Cuts Include Heron and Eurohawk

    Posted on November 1, 2011 by The Editor

    Bowing under economical burden the German Government plans deep cuts in defence spending, dramatically reducing planned procurement of main weapon systems and platforms.Among the planned cuts recommended by German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere is the reduction of the number of unmanned aircraft systems from 22 to 16 (the German Air Force currently operates the Heron). The Luftwaffe will also be required to trim the number of ‘Euro Hawk’ High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) by two aircraft, operating the SIGINT unit with only four aircraft.

    Source: Defense Update

  9. #29

    Germany Wrestles With Defense Cuts

    Nov 7, 2011

    By Robert Wall
    London and Frankfurt



    Now that Germany has made good on its promise to cut its defense modernization program as part of a sweeping reorganization, the question remains: Will the government follow through with the promise to put the freed-up money toward future needs?

    There are concerns in industry regarding the fate of several key future technology programs. Up to 25,000 jobs in the military aircraft development and production industry could be at risk, warns Bernard Stiedl, an EADS representative with IG Metall, one of Germany’s largest labor unions. That body is calling for an industrial policy to be part of the government’s reform package.

    In particular, the union is worried about the Talarion unmanned aircraft program, an EADS proposal for a future, medium-altitude unmanned aircraft to be fielded around the end of the decade. The project has, however, failed to garner support from the air force, which wants a more immediate system. The new modernization strategy also does not address Talarion because, as one defense ministry official notes, there is no program of record to talk about.

    As part of the cuts, Germany is curtailing the number of medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft to be bought to replace Heron-1s, which are currently being used in Afghanistan on a fee-for-service basis. Germany now plans on 16 rather than 22 of the Israel Aerospace Industries Heron-TP, offered through Rheinmetall, or on the General Atomics Predator B, offered through Ruag.

    One test case for how committed Germany is to future funding is likely to emerge in the realm of air and missile defense. While many of the modernization cuts to fighter and helicopters programs come as no surprise, just last year Berlin had reconfirmed its interest in the tri-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads). Instead, the country has decided to follow the lead of the Pentagon and see the development through to its conclusion—slated for 2014—but forgo actual production.

    The goal is to prove technology and capture the maximum know-how, without actually buying the system, a German air force officer says. Military officials in Frankfurt suggest the Meads-developed technologies could still find an application.

    Also affected are plans to buy the surface-launched version of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile. Development of IRIS-T SL will be completed, but a purchase decision now has to await the German air force’s new air and missile defense plan. An industry official says the concept assessment for the future air and missile defense architecture for 2020 is already under way.

    Despite the change in course, air defense has been identified as a mission priority for the restructured military here, and this should assure funding for future initiatives. However, other near-term cuts are in the offing. Germany plans to reduce its Patriot inventory to 14 systems from 29, retaining only the most modern Config-3 standard.

    Raytheon is hoping the German move may spur interest in an upgrade of the remaining Patriots, which Germany initially rejected in favor of Meads. An upgrade would provide a more open-system architecture, higher reliability and improved radar performance. James E. Monroe, vice president for Raytheon International, notes that the system could also encompass elements of Meads and the integrated IRIS-T SL, if the customer wants to go that route.

    Germany’s choice of Meads has ramifications beyond its own borders. Italy had hoped the program would survive, but is now reassessing its plans.

    And Germany is seeking international cooperation for its new air defense concept. The French senate, detecting the Meads procurement may be in trouble, previously signaled it would like to see France and Germany work more closely together in this arena.

    Action in the U.S. Congress will likely dictate whether Meads development is concluded. The Senate Armed Services Committee recommends immediate termination. House appropriators are merely suggesting the fiscal 2012 budget be cut by $149.5 million to $257.1 million, whereas their Senate counterparts would authorize the full $406.6 million.

    Several other elements of the spending reduction were more widely anticipated. The Eurofighter Typhoon program will be limited to 140 units, 37 fewer than initially planned.

    The German government also is making good on its threat to curtail helicopter procurements. For instance, 42 NH Industries NH90s will be excised from the procurement plan, capping the buy at 80. Additionally, 40 Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters will be cut, effectively halving the procurement objective.

    But the fleet of existing aircraft also is being reduced. The Tornado fleet will fall to 85 aircraft from 185—including a reduction in the ECR anti-radar fleet—and 20 Transalls will be retired, with 60 remaining.

    The Euro Hawk, recently unveiled to the public in Germany prior to the first prototype being delivered to the air force next year, is exempted. Five were and are slated to be acquired.

    Germany also has reduced its A400M military transport buy. Initially the government shaved seven aircraft from the intended 60, but parliament has told the military to shed 13 more aircraft and operate only 40 A400Ms. No further adjustments were made in the latest planning round, but the Germany position is nonetheless a headache for industry. Airbus Military needs export orders to turn a profit on the transport aircraft. Sales will be more difficult if Germany is, at the same time, remarketing some of its own aircraft.

    So far, only cursory discussions have taken place with industry over the cuts; detailed negotiations are due to begin mid-month. “The focus of the negotiations on the industry side is primarily on future prospects with regard to securing of company sites and jobs, competitiveness and technology know-how, and thereby the preservation of system capability for the defense industry in Germany,” a Eurocopter official says.

    The union also is urging changes. For instance, Thomas Pretzl, head of the works council at EADS’s Cassidian unit, argues that Germany should buy Tranche 3B Eurofighters and scrap older Tranche 1s. An industry official contends that no decision has been made. Even if the Tranche 3Bs were to go, production would be assured through 2017, he adds, thanks to a recent decision by all Eurofighter partner states to slow annual production rates.

    The union also is calling on the government to locate sustainment of the A400M at the EADS Manching site, where it also wants all Tornado and Transall fleet work to be performed.

    The cuts particularly affect EADS, given the company’s involvement in the Tiger, NH90 and Eurofighter. But a financial analysts notes that from a corporate level, the issue is not critical in light of the relatively marginal contribution Germany’s defense operations have on the company overall.

    Days after unveiling sweeping cuts to Germany’s defense modernization plans, the defense minister, Thomas de Maiziere, has been emphasizing that the government accepts the importance of sustaining a healthy industrial base. One reason, he says, is that as European states look toward more intercountry cooperation, a strong industrial foundation is needed if Germany wants to play a decision-shaping role.

    Industry may also have to gird for more changes. De Maiziere is unhappy with past program execution, which could lead to the government emulating Australia and the U.K. in trying to establish a process for stronger program oversight.

    Industry could see gains in one area—increased outsourcing for systems support. Germany has lagged behind other countries in this regard, but that may now change, suggest industry officials.

    Photo: Luftwaffe

  10. #30

    NATO Seeks Greater Operational Efficiencies

    Nov 15, 2011

    By Christina Mackenzie, Nicholas Fiorenza
    Paris, Brussels



    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen rarely uses the term “transformation.” He prefers instead to discuss “smart defense,” an initiative Rasmussen launched at the Munich Security Conference last February. “[Smart defense] is not [about] more money,” he explained at the time. “It is [about] money spent more effectively. It is shared defense. It is efficient defense.”

    Asked by DTI on Oct. 4 whether smart defense has replaced transformation, which he had described six months after his appointment as NATO chief in August 2009 as being “about improving our working methods and preparing for the future while spending our resources efficiently,” Rasmussen replied: “Transformation is an integrated part of smart defense. We need to transform our armed forces in the direction of more flexibility and more mobility, and that’s part of the smart defense agenda.”

    Prior to the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Oct. 5-6, Rasmussen named two smart defense envoys: Gen. Stephane Abrial of the French air force, who is Supreme Allied Commander Transformation; and Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero. When he first announced at the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Industry Day in London on Sept. 12 his intention of appointing smart defense envoys, Rasmussen said they would “work hand-in-hand with nations, as well as with industry, to identify where we can get more from multinational cooperation.”

    The heart of Abrial’s new portfolio is to solve the equation of “lower defense budgets plus more expensive equipment, which must equal sufficient capacity in the future.” Abrial describes capacity as the whole chain, from establishing doctrine to training and procuring equipment. “We must maintain our capacity despite today’s difficult budgetary situation that affects almost all NATO members,” he says. “The only way of solving this equation is by working together.”

    Abrial cites the December 2009 Nordic Defense Cooperation among Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and the November 2010 Franco-British Defense Treaty as examples of working together. “The best security is shared security, and it is by working together that we achieve this,” he told a media breakfast in Paris on Oct. 4.

    In the same vein, Ivo Daalder, U.S. ambassador to the alliance, remarks: “NATO territorial missile defense would not be possible without interceptors in Poland and Romania, a radar site in Turkey, and early warning provided by satellites of various nations.” Rasmussen says territorial missile defense will reach initial operational capability by NATO’s next summit in Chicago in May 2012, and full operational capability in 2018.

    Abrial says the 28 NATO members “participated intensively” in preparing the ACT report on smart defense, which he presented in Brussels. “Our proposals are practical and can be translated into strong and concrete actions,” he says. While he concedes that “the initial mandate was not ambitious, we will step up a gear in the second stage, which will be much more ambitious now that we have political momentum.”

    In this first stage, the 169 projects contained in the report concern priority areas highlighted during NATO’s November 2010 Lisbon summit, namely missile defense, cyberdefense, defeating improvised explosive devices (IED), medical support, transport capacity, command and control, and intelligence and surveillance. Abrial says these projects include a robotic vehicle to counter IEDs—a project led by one nation (he would not say which) and joined by five others. Other priority areas are helicopter maintenance and joint training.

    ACT is working with industry “on both sides of the Atlantic” in the Framework for Collaborative Interaction with Industry, or FFCI (DTI June, p. 27). FFCI is designed to accelerate development cycles “and have well-adapted capacities,” Abrial says. He describes ACT’s relationship with the 35 companies involved in FFCI as “ACT being the demand side and the companies’ R&D departments the supply side.” He says “everything is moving now,” and wants to ensure that small and medium enterprises get involved. “They are often a precious source of innovation.”

    At the ACT Industry Day in London, Abrial said FFCI had “proven extremely relevant to cost-effectiveness. For example, it opens the perspectives of allowing us to use industrial battle labs, limiting our costs in testing hypotheses at practically no marginal cost to our partners.” And, he added, “the big idea behind FFCI is that an enhanced dialog well upstream of acquisition—ACT is not involved in procurement—will help align capability supply and demand several years down the line. Industry acquires a better idea of where our needs and requirements will be taking us, and we military acquire a fuller view of what industry may be able to offer, in what timeframe and at what cost.”

    At the ACT Industry Day, Rasmussen called for the liberalization of defense markets on both sides of the Atlantic: “More open, less restricted competition will make companies more efficient,” he said. “It will lead to lower costs, greater economies of scale, lower prices and better margins. That’s good for industry, good for the taxpayer and good for NATO.” Looking ahead to next May’s summit in Chicago, Rasmussen called on industry to “play a full role in smart defense” and help win what he termed “an innovation race.”

    Meanwhile, in his new role as envoy for smart defense, Abrial will continue to review projects and nurture them toward reality. “I will pick up my pilgrim’s staff and go from country to country to look at projects.”

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking at an event hosted by Carnegie Europe in Brussels on Oct. 5, suggested that smart defense could be harmonized with the European Union’s “pooling and sharing” initiative. He also said the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, which he described as a crucial symbol of collaboration and critical to boosting NATO’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, was currently at an impasse due to disagreements over funding.

    AGS illustrates the difficulties Rasmussen’s smart defense envoys face. Following the withdrawal of several nations, 13 members are pooling their resources to procure the system, based on the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. The U.S., however, wants all 28 NATO nations to fund AGS operations, as they do for the 18-nation NATO airborne warning and control (AWACS) system. This is meeting with resistance from some countries. France, for example, withdrew from the program and prefers to use the funding for national initiatives.

    “If we are going to move into the future, if we are to have a cooperative relationship with regard to capabilities, this is crucial to put into place,” Panetta said. “Unless [AGS] is implemented successfully, the drive for similar, cost-effective, multinational approaches to capability development would be seriously undermined.”

    Rasmussen’s original transformation agenda included the reform of NATO’s political headquarters in Brussels, its 14 agencies and military command structure to make the alliance “a faster, more efficient service provider for member nations.” In June, NATO revealed plans for a new defense structure to reduce personnel by 26% (8,000 of the current 30,000), which could save $20 million a year. Brig. Gen. Patrick Wouters of the Belgian air force, deputy director of the Plans and Policy Division of NATO’s International Military Staff, says the new command structure will be leaner, more efficient and more deployable.

    The plan will also eliminate four headquarters and three commands. NATO’s two joint force commands, in Brunssum, Netherlands, and Naples, Italy, will be converted into larger joint force headquarters able to deploy 500 of their 850 personnel. These new headquarters will regain the regional focus lost during the last NATO command restructuring.

    The one remaining air component command, in Ramstein, Germany, will acquire tasks such as missile defense. This command will be better adapted to use NATO’s joint air component air command concept and more easily revert to a wartime structure such as the one used for air operations against Libya, Wouters said.

    NATO’s 14 agencies are being streamlined into three major themes: procurement, support, and communication and information. Existing agencies that manage multinational procurement programs such as Eurofighter and the NH90 helicopter will become program offices within a new NATO Procurement Agency. Initially these offices will remain in their current locations near industrial partners. The NATO Support Agency, to be located in Capellen, Luxembourg, will manage pooled assets like the Strategic Airlift Capability’s three Boeing C-17s and NATO AWACS, while the NATO Communications and Information Agency will be in Brussels. The latter will absorb the Communications and Information Systems Agency, whose 18 deployable communication modules (signals companies) and 1,300 personnel will be transferred to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

    A Science and Technology (S&T) Organization will also be created before July 2012. It will include the S&T Board, Program Office for Collaborative S&T and the NATO Undersea Research Center.

    Photo: Nicholas Fiorenza

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