Twenty One Defense Attachés representing seventeen countries visited the NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (C2COE) on April 6th at the Kromhout Barracks in Utrecht.
Defense attachés are representatives of the senior military officials of their host nation. They also develop military to military relationships with the armed forces in the nation they are serving in and give military advice to their ambassador. They are an invaluable asset to fostering military and diplomatic relationships between countries. The NATO C2COE was honored to host the Defense Attachés with the goal of sharing information about the Centre, provide briefings and facilitating discussions regarding C2, as well as various projects that are underway.
The Director of the NATO C2COE, Captain Renée van Pamelen-Hollenberg (NLD N) gave a command brief that introduced the NATO COE concept, why NATO has created 24 COEs (with 2 more soon to be accredited), why C2 is still an important and relevant concept, and a discussion of the manning and key projects for the Centre. LtCol. Jelle Bode (NLD AF) had the opportunity to share the Centre’s work on Urbanization where he discussed the future trends of population, migration, and the steady growth of megacities and how that would impact the decision making of NATO military leadership. LCDR Stephen Gray (USA N) and LtCol. Federico Clemente (ESP A) rounded out the presentations with a discussion of the upcoming NATO C2COE participation in Thinktank for Information, Decision and Execution Superiority (TIDE) Sprint, the Centre project on the Joint Task Force Handbook that was released last year, and an introduction to the C2COE Seminar that will be held from 13-15 June in Valencia, Spain.
The meeting concluded with discussions that centered on future cooperation and mutual learning between the Defense Attachés and the NATO C2COE. The desire to create a regular drumbeat meeting to continue information sharing and discussing of ongoing initiatives was expressed by both parties. The NATO C2COE is planning to be more active and improve its visibility outside Allied Command Transformation and a future cooperation with the Defense Attachés could be an opportunity to gain that effect.
Overall, the visit was a resounding success and all parties are looking forward to future opportunities to interact and learn together.