The NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence joined the Vauban Sessions (29-30 May 2024) in Lille, France, for discussions on command post hybridity, organizational modularity, and C2 trends.

The conference pinpointed the challenges of effective command and control in high-intensity environments. Insights from the Ukraine conflict and discussions highlighted the importance of agile, resilient, and adaptable C2 systems in high-intensity conflict scenarios. The use of AI was emphasized for faster decision-making, even with incomplete information. As the Alliance aims to conduct MDO by 2030, NATO’s digital transformation is a prerequisite, and the responsible (ethical) use of AI is seen as fundamental for securing a competitive edge. This calls for interoperability and efficient operations, focusing on achieving the right balance between quantity and quality.

The discussions also highlighted the need for hybrid systems in communication, technology, and digital systems for optimal operation. The role of AI in improving information flow and data management was emphasized. The concept of ‘not binary’ was introduced, suggesting a balance between centralization and decentralization in C2 architectures.

During the panel discussions, panelists stressed the importance of aligning innovation with operational needs. The dominance of primes in the market, blocking effective innovation, was identified as a challenge, pointing to a need for a cultural shift to align all stakeholders and the importance of planned innovation through short engineering.

All in all, the Vauban Sessions were a great event that shed light on the future of command and control (and warfighting in general) in intense conflict scenarios. With discussions on AI integration, balancing centralization and decentralization, and the importance of hybrid systems, the sessions emphasized the need for ongoing innovation and flexibility within NATO.


The Vauban sessions, organized by RRC France and CEIS-Forward Global, bring together military representatives from NATO and EU countries to discuss best practices and lessons learned in the digital transformation of armed forces.


The Vauban Sessions 2024 is themed: Command in the era of high intensity: Vision 2030. Command is crucial to achieving operational superiority. It relies first and foremost on the quality, skills and training of those manning command posts (CPs), but also on how far CP structures can adapt to different types of missions and operational environments. The challenge remains to provide commanders with the necessary information and a faster decision-making loop, despite an increasingly vast and complex information environment. Command systems must make the most of the latest technological developments. Their integration into capabilities is fundamental to retain the operational advantage. Recent conflicts have highlighted the need for modernised CPs, more adapted to high intensity, while remaining sustainable. On the one hand, it encourages the deployment of more modular systems, adaptable to the wide range of situations and multinational environments. On the other, it calls for the implementation of different training and education processes.

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