August 1, 2017
By Maj. James Lacovara, USA, and Capt. Phil Gilchrist, USA
U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Theater Signal Brigade and Belgian soldiers from the 6th Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Group pass voice and data through a Belgian satellite terminal during Operation Combined Lightning last June.

Europe is nervous. A nationalistic and revanchist Russia threatens security, and post-Cold War downsizing of U.S. forces across the continent leaves it vulnerable. At one point, 300,000 soldiers stationed in Europe were tasked with the mission of deterring the Soviet Union. Today, that number hovers around 30,000. It is no surprise, then, that senior U.S. and allied military leaders have placed a renewed emphasis on strengthening NATO and improving its battlefield capabilities. One of the most effective ways to fortify the alliance is through unit-level partnerships.

July 27, 2017

Brig. Gen. John E. Novalis II, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff operations, Multinational Corps Northeast, NATO, Poland. 

July 20, 2017

Brig. Gen. Charles S. Corcoran, USAF, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters Allied Air Command, Allied Command Operations, NATO, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

June 5, 2017

Brig. Gen. Gary W. Johnston, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, intelligence, Resolute Support Mission, NATO; and director, J-2, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan.

June 5, 2017

Brig. Gen. Scott E. Brower, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, communications, Resolute Support Mission, NATO, Operation Freedom's Sentinel, Afghanistan.

June 5, 2017

Brig. Gen. Carl A. Alex, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff operations, Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command-Brunssum, NATO, Netherlands.

May 25, 2017
The Internet of Things poses some risks to military forces, a draft report from NATO's Parliamentary Assembly points out. The report will be discussed at the assembly's spring session and will be updated over the summer.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has published a draft report titled "The Internet of Things: Promises and Perils of a Disruptive Technology." The report urges governments to take a more proactive role in defining the future of the Internet of Things (IoT).

"Policy makers, including national parliamentarians, need to start to proactively shape an IoT environment that remains open, innovative and secure. We have to find the right balance," the document states.

April 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines conduct operations in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. The NATO Secret-level network in Afghanistan, outsourced to private industry, serves as an example of how future NATO information technology might be acquired through outsourcing.

The global onslaught of new information technology is forcing NATO members to find ways of helping the alliance build a supporting infostructure comprising innovative technologies and capabilities. But acquisition constraints, which can be serious barriers in individual countries, are even more complicated for a security alliance composed of 28 governments.

Partnering with industry has been a go-to method for NATO, but now it is heavily emphasizing this approach. Leaders of active member nations say it is the best hope for speeding up the acquisition of information technologies that serve both alliance and member needs.

March 27, 2017

The NATO Communications and Information Agency will preview details of 40 upcoming business opportunities at its annual industry conference NITEC17 to be held April 24-26 in Ottawa, Canada. Agency officials intend to put 40 contracts out to tender in the next 18 to 24 months as part of a €3 billion ($3.26 billion) technology refresh.

Various program officials will discuss tangible opportunities coming to market, including international competitive bids in the following areas:

March 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
A Marine participates in a field training exercise in Lithuania. NATO researchers are investigating potential military applications for Internet of Things technologies, including the possibility of increased situational awareness at the individual warfighter level.

Several nations are studying the potential military benefits of Internet of Things technologies, including a variety of inexpensive commercial sensors and smart city capabilities. Their investigation likely will include three proof-of-concept demonstrations, the first of which is planned for May in Finland.

March 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

NATO support for the ongoing study of military applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) falls under the auspices of the agency’s Science and Technology Organization (STO) and its Collaboration Support Office (CSO). The study is part of the Collaborative Program of Work of the Information Systems and Technology Panel.

Poland’s Military University of Technology leads the study. The country’s Research and Academic Computer Network (NASK), Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) and Gdansk University of Technology also are involved.

Other participants include: 

• NATO’s Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and the Allied Command Transformation (ACT).

December 20, 2016

Col. Patrick J. Donahoe, USA, has been assigned as director, CJ-35, Resolute Support Mission, NATO, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan. 

October 21, 2016
By Tod Tompkins

When NATO recognized cyberspace as a “domain of war,” the designation committed all alliance members to provide military support for “crisis-management operations.” The move speaks volumes. 

October 18, 2016

NATO Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency launched yesterday an independent project to research options for streamlining NATO’s cyber capability development and acquisition processes. The final report from RAND Corporation is due in January.

August 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (l), talks about NATO’s enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks during a panel discussion at NITEC 2016 cyber conference held in Tallinn, Estonia, in June.

As NATO grapples with mounting security threats—both conventional and irregular—the concerned alliance is tussling to deliver a unified strategy for information warfare and dominance in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberspace technologies exploiting its vulnerabilities.

The enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks dominated discussions and presentations in June at the annual NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

July 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Romanian soldiers at a Romanian air base render honors with U.S. forces commemorating the 74th anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Romania’s growing activities with fellow NATO members include greater information sharing on cyberspace.

A nation that once was part of the Soviet bloc now finds itself on the front lines of unrest in Ukraine, territorial disputes in the Black Sea and state-sponsored attacks in cyberspace. Romania, now a stalwart member of NATO and the European Union, is playing an increasing role in cybersecurity, both regionally and internationally. It is passing a national cybersecurity law and reaching out to assist other nations, directly and indirectly, with cyber defense. 

June 30, 2016
By Sandra Jontz


Sweeping changes are on the horizon for one NATO agency as it reshapes its software acquisition processes and embarks on a task to create what officials call an in-house “software factory.”

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency wants to overhaul the way it buys software after inspections revealed acute shortcomings that led to several program cost overruns and delays, says Paul Howland, chief of command and control services for NCI Agency, which serves as NATO’s information technology and command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) provider, including cyber and missile defense.

June 9, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
NATO officials highlight several business initiatives to meet future needs during the NITEC 2016 cyber conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Industry said, “Show me the money,” and NATO obliged.

Officials shared several key business initiatives to meet future NATO needs during the three-day NITEC 2016 cyber conference, informing industry members about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of upcoming business opportunities and contract work.

June 9, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense says cybersecurity is a game changer. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Cybersecurity reaches far beyond processes to make doing business easier—it’s the “game changer” to counter real consequences that threaten everyday life, said Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense.

“Cyber attacks are no more science fiction,” Suder said. “They are real and will become even more critical in the future. The trajectory [of safeguarding networks] is not going in the right direction.” 

June 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves addresses attendees on the inaugural day of the three-day NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

NATO is dangling roughly 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in funding for future cyber-based initiatives to match—and then surpass—the increasingly sophisticated attacks against its 28-member alliance, officials announced Tuesday on the inaugural day of the NITEC 2016 conference.

Increased Russian aggression, instability in Europe’s south, the Syrian refugee crisis and evolving cyberthreats all have contributed toward new strategic realities, but also jockey for the same pot of limited financial resources—mobilizing the alliance to strengthen collaborations with industry for vital solutions.