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NATO C2COE conducted a two-part study on “The Future of the Command Post”. The study is focused on the Command Post at NATO’s joint operational level, a Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTF HQ) and is looking to the future developments foreseen to be in place around the year 2035.

Not only is this broadly the same timeframe NATO is looking at from a long-term planning perspective, but it is also far away enough to allow a little imagination, but not so far away that there is a complete disconnect from the environment we live in now, and the decisions that are being made today.

This part of the study is looking at the human perspective, the human factors which will have an impact on how we introduce new technology into an joint operational level headquarters. In order to find answers to the research questions in terms of the human aspect of the changes and developments in the coming years, a survey was conducted, followed by interviews, thus painting a picture of what live would look like in twenty years’ time.

The survey consisted out of 18 non-structured open questions. Main reason for choosing this form of survey was to explore new ideas, without knowing what to expect from the respondents. The open-ended questions allowed more insight into the respondents’ thoughts and ideas. The survey was built around three themes. First theme was the respondents’ sentiment with regard to what extent automation would affect the work. The second theme focused on the risks involved in introducing automation tools. The last theme concentrated on the implementation of automation within the workplace.

The target audience were personnel from both operational level headquarters Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum and JFC Naples, who are involved in the Assessment Process and in the JOC Processes. These processes have been selected because they are very complex and are particularly demanding on human factors. Furthermore, the survey - in an adapted content format without changing the essential meaning of the questions - was also offered to forty students of the Slovak Military Academy, the next generation of leadership. Based on the results of the survey the research team was given the opportunity to interview the key leadership of both Joint Force Headquarters.

There is no doubt that technological developments, including artificial intelligence, will have a major impact on the future of the Command Post. Whatever the future will bring, it will change the way we work and operate. How will we cope with all these changes?

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