NATO Looks to Industry

November 2005
By Cdre. Robert Howell, RN (Ret.)

 
Panelists discussing industrial linkages with NATO policy and procedures at the ACT Industry Day conference include (l-r) Aaron Fuller, Computer Sciences Corporation; Scott Harris, Lockheed Martin; Dr. Stefan Zoller, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company; and Dr. Burkhard Theile, Rheinmetall DETEC.
Both cooperation and independent activities may be key.

Transformation will be essential to NATO’s new missions in the post-Cold-War global war on terror, according to the alliance’s leadership. And, as in the United States, government and industry will need to partner to achieve the individual goals that must be reached for that transformation to succeed.

The requirements for this alliance-wide transformation to take place were among the topics of discussion at the Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) Industry Briefing Day, held on September 18 and 19. AFCEA International’s European office once again was invited to organize the event, which took place this year in Rome, Italy. More than 300 delegates heard NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer open the proceedings by video link. He urged the assembled leaders to seek a real team effort between ACT and industry.

NATO’s deputy secretary general, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, followed with a keynote speech suggesting that a move from territorial security to functional security is timely. The global nature of threats means that a regional focus no longer is appropriate, and countries must be prepared to move away from local thinking. Similarly, he pointed out, military forces must be prepared to move away from a purely national focus and find better ways to connect to political thinking. The deputy secretary general also stated that a stable Middle East should be a common trans-Atlantic goal. He added that he sees NATO as not only a mechanism for generating forces but also one for strengthening political links.

The ambassador was followed by Gen. Raymond Henault, CF, chairman of the NATO Military Committee. He sees NATO’s network-enabled capability and effects-based operations as essential to interoperability. He recommended more spending on research and development among the European nations, emphasizing that technology gaps between the United States and the rest of the world need to be bridged. The Italian minister of defense, His Excellency Antonio Martino, stressed the need to identify common actions required in industry and defense businesses. He views coordination between national and international ministries as increasingly important, and he believes that trans-Atlantic relationships need to mature and to be more balanced.

   The final speaker in the opening session was Dr. Ing. Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, chairman and chief executive of Finmeccanica. He gave industry’s view, urging national defense departments to increase research and development investment to meet new operational requirements. He believes that defense and security investments should be merged. He emphasized internationalization, noting that globalization is a fact of economic life.

ACT’s theme for the day was “Moving Forward With Defence Industry: The Way Ahead,” and Adm. Sir Mark Stanhope, KCB OBE, RN, acting supreme allied commander transformation, gave a keynote speech that drew attention to the need to make best use of expertise rather than products. He said that he needs to know industry’s constraints so that ACT can make the best use of industrial input. He added that he wants to move away from hoarding information and toward sharing information. The admiral noted that he is concerned that destabilization forces on the other side of the world could affect NATO nations, and in this world of globalization, he wants to be well-placed to support Allied Command Operations to meet the new challenges. He also wants to make NATO more accurate in its predictions, and he hopes to maintain a credible force balance as NATO is likely to be asked to conduct smaller operations, probably concurrently, around the world. He seeks a balanced early partnership with industry.

The session continued under the topic “Policy and Process With Industry,” with speakers from around the ACT command, including Air Marshal Peter Walker, RAF, director of NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Norway; Lt. Gen. Hans-Joachim Schubert, GEAF, executive director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Germany; Rear Adm. Carlton Jewett, USN, deputy assistant chief of staff for defense planning, ACT, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium; and Dr. Don Daniel, chairman of the NATO Research and Technology Board.

The morning concluded with a keynote speech by Lt. Gen. Ethem Erdagi, TUA, who had just returned from commanding the latest International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) VII in Afghanistan. He explained the difficulties of dealing with 67 participating nations, of which only 36 were under ISAF control. In addition, more than 3,000 nongovernmental organizations were operating in Afghanistan, of which only 300 were registered.

The general explained that work is proceeding through a series of security sector reforms. The United Kingdom is working on drug control; Italy is focusing on judicial reform; the United States is at work rebuilding the Afghan Army; and Germany is responsible for re-establishing the police force—a challenge compounded by the 60 percent illiteracy rate among the police recruits. Japan’s efforts under the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration reform were completed in July, but only a small proportion of weapons had been recovered and destroyed.

Plans call for NATO to take on safety and security responsibility for all of Afghanistan, and the general sees this as a major commitment that needs to be properly resourced. He said that industry can help with including more effective nonlethal weapons for crowd control; greater high-technology equipment to limit collateral damage; better command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for nonconventional military operations; and more lift and deployability.

In the afternoon sessions, industry offered perspectives on industrial linkages with NATO’s policies and procedures.

The final session was an opportunity for NATO to demonstrate how its partnerships with industry are progressing along with the integrating concepts that are in development. This placed significant emphasis on the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG). Its vice chairman, Dr. Raffaele Esposito expounded on challenges and opportunities for NIAG.

Dr. Russell Richards offered his viewpoint as manager, U.S. Joint Forces Command Office of Research and Technology Applications, Technology Transfer Coordinator. He stated that although federal acquisition regulations constrained technology transfer, he is confident that cooperative research and development agreements would be developed as useful contracts by federal laboratories to achieve collaborative research and development with nonfederal partners.

In his closing remarks, Adm. Stanhope stated that good progress has been made since the first Industry Briefing Day last year in Berlin, and he looks forward to further dialogue with industry as relationships mature.