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Coalface Perspectives on C2 Capability Governance: An Interview Study

Command and Control (C2) remains a critical capability for NATO and needs to transform in response to the current and future challenges of the security environment. Over the years, many C2 transformation programs have been initiated and, while it is relatively easy to find references from the early phases of these programs, evidence of actual transformation having taken place is rare. The NATO HFM RTG-342 “C2 Capability Lifecycle Governance” is formed to address this observation. A part of this work includes interviews with individuals from various entities that are involved in development or maintenance of C2 Capability. The study aimed to explore experiences and collect insights related to C2 governance and the processes required to transform current C2 practices to meet future requirements. This paper summarizes and analyzes the interviewees’ opinions and experiences regarding four broad themes: the future security environment, C2 capability, challenges for ensuring C2 capability, and the way forward towards future C2 capability. The interviews represent the case of the current rearrangement of the NATO C2 structure as a response to the conflict in Ukraine and also the planned inclusion of new NATO members. The discussion includes topics regarding potential solutions such as the importance of addressing both technology and the human perspective and that commander skills include both the art of war and the trade of governing C2 capability. In order to accomplish change, simultaneous activities need to be conducted across all time horizons, where change is a process of negotiation. Finally there is need for operationalizing concepts early within a vision of possible futures.

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