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The 2015 NATO C2COE Seminar “C2 on the Move” was planned and coordinated by the staff of the NATO C2COE, situated at the Kromhout Barracks in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This year, the seminar was hosted by the Netherlands, and was held at the Naval Base Den Helder – Rijkszee - from the 24th until 26th of March 2015. The building where the seminar was held, the ‘Admiraliteit’, provided a warm welcome to the seminar attendees, and the NATO C2COE would like to convey her special thanks for everyone’s hospitality at the Naval Base. The welcome and hospitality was extended by Rear Admiral Ben Bekkering, Deputy Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN), who gave the seminar’s welcoming address. He started his briefing by saying that our (meaning the Dutch), ability to adapt and interact with the waters that surround us, has become an integral part of Dutch culture and expertise, driven by necessity, since half the country is below sea level. It is a constant joint operation that requires all services in order to keep the water out, yet we also use the seas to our advantage. This type of ‘jointness’ is perhaps something we can take away for the future of Command and Control (C2).
The aim of the two and a half day seminar was to explore the different C2 perspectives in light of the Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTF HQ) concept, and to identify useful takeaways. The overall aim of the NATO C2COE seminars is to offer an environment for discussion and to enhance overall awareness of topics related to C2. The seminar’s value is mainly educational and informative, but it also provides a forum to widen or renew personal and official social networks. The 2015 NATO C2COE focus is on ‘NATO being on the move’, and the seminar title was intended to illustrate the defence community’s heightened sense of readiness due to global developments, its higher level of awareness of current threats, and to identify a new kind of flexibility and the adaptations required for effective 21st century C2. “Big war may be coming” according to the academic community’s representative on the topic, professor Dr. Lindley-French. Quite the confrontational opening statement from the first speaker on the topic, but it got all seminar attendees alert and listening. The seminar speakers provided the audience with different perspectives on and experiences with the JTF HQ concept and C2. The briefings include relevant slides from the accompanying powerpoint presentations, and are structured in such a way that the reader can experience the briefing as if he or she were there themselves. In consultation with the individual briefers, and in light of NATO’s classification rules, some briefings have been redacted for publication purposes.
This Seminar Review Document consist of briefings from the academic community, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), and from the Office of Primary Interest of the Comprehensive C r i s i s a n d O p e r a t i o n s Management Cent re (OPI CCOMC). Also included, are briefings from representatives from Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP), and from the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Spain (NRDC-SP), Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO/ SFN), the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), Air Command (AIRCOM), the Netherlands Maritime Force (NL MARFOR), and from representatives of the United States of America 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (12 CAVN BDE US). Lastly, the briefings given by representatives from the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), and the NATO C2COE are included. Most briefings are followed by identified Key Takeaways. These takeaways indicate clearly that we need to provoke innovative ideas, identify challenges and discuss solutions. NATO’s future requires that we also reflect on long forgotten C2 concepts that have existed for years. We have to improve C2 in light of the higher readiness requirements. In short: we need to remodel C2 within the Alliance: genuine C2 is on the move.