From 4-6 October, the NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (NATO C2COE) participated in a conference of directors of all NATO’s Centres of Excellence (COEs). The Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSECCOE) in Vilnius, Lithuania hosted this annual Directors Conference, their director Colonel Gintaras Bagdonas being the current chairman for all NATO’s COE directors.
The NATO C2COE participation underlines the important aim of this annual meeting: to be informed of recent developments, to share and compare our experiences and to discuss NATO-COE cooperation. It provides our Centre a forum for an exchange of views on the way ahead and thus facilitates our networking in order to increase the individual and collective effectiveness of the NATO C2COE.
This specific well-organised event brought together the directors or their representatives from the 24 NATO COEs operating in 19 countries, senior leadership from the NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk (USA), speakers from NATO Headquarters in Brussels (Belgium) and members of the ACT Transformation Network Branch which facilitates COEs.
The Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Dr Olekas opened the event. Lieutenant-General Jeffrey Lofgren ACT DCOS Capability Development, Brigadier-General Henrik Sommer ACT ACOS Capability Engineering and Innovation and Mr Tim Webb of NATO HQ Defence Investment delivered key note speeches.
The participants, one of which was LCOL Gubbels head Expertise Management Branch who represented the NATO C2COE, addressed the possibilities to step up the cooperation of the COEs through joint activities and projects which strengthen the Alliance, and shared experiences of the COEs they represent. The 24 COEs nowadays currently gather a community of over 1000 experts in related fields.
The NATO C2COE is one of the oldest COEs and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017. As one of the NATO COEs it carries out and/or supports research and experiments, conducts analysis and forwards observations, contributes to the development of NATO doctrines and concepts, supports education and provides Subject Matter Experts to training and major NATO exercises within the scope of the mission statement. The NATO C2COE is financed and governed by the nine participating countries and is accountable to them. The small Transformation Network Branch of NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk coordinates the distribution of tasks to the COE, helps its development, is responsible for (re)accreditation and periodic assessment of activities.