From robotic systems to hybrid warfare, the CD&E WG brought an interactive agenda with a variety of keynote speakers, hands-on experiment proposals, innovative concepts, activities and exhibits to the more than 130 visitors in attendance.
The NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) 2015 Concept Development & Experimentation Working Group (CD&E WG) took place in Virginia Beach, Virginia USA, 19-21 May.
This annual event hosted by the Operational Experimentation (OPEX) Branch enables NATO's transformation through the structured development of creative and innovative ideas into viable solutions for capability development. "The 2015 NATO Transformation Seminar and the 2014 US Defense Innovation Initiative stress the importance of pursuing innovative ways to sustain and advance military superiority," said US Navy Captain Mark Stoops, OPEX Branch Head and Co-Chair. "Transformational activities are important force enablers to ensure we are capable of meeting the demands of the future military environment. In light of technologies fast pace today, the need for ACT to explore is as important as ever. This is where OPEX can make a difference. "
This year's event was attended by representation from twenty-two countries, thirteen Centres of Excellences, visitors from NATO Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), industry, academia, research & development, international and non-governmental organisations. Keynote speakers included Mr. James Bergeron, Chief Political Advisor, NATO Allied Command Maritime; Angela Messer, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton Strategic Innovation Group; and NATO ACT Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Phil Jones.
The Working Group discussion and activity was further enriched by addresses from Mr. Chris Stace, representing the European Defence Agency (EDA) and Mr. David Burton, NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), reflecting the drive of the CD&E community to create the right conditions for innovation and collaboration to succeed. In particular, the use of technology to support active transatlantic collaboration on the Norwegian proposed Protection of Civilian Concept, including representatives from SHAPE J9, Norway, USA, and ACT was a prime example of innovation at work.
In step with its innovative mission, the Working Group also unveiled and officially launched Phase I of the new CDE365 portal. As the newest member of the NATO TRANSNET community, CDE365 provides a globally accessible, unclassified, collaborative environment for CD&E stakeholders. This forum provides access to past, present and future NATO CD&E work 365 days a year
"The reality is that our community of CD&E experts, work daily to develop future solutions for our respective organisations," said Mr. Don Morse, Joint Staff DJ-7 and Chief Multinational/ACT Integration Division. "It makes sense that we have a virtual environment that is available 365 days a year that enables the sharing of global CD&E information and facilitates solution based creative thinking. This initiative has the potential to truly transform how we collaborate and do CD&E business on behalf of our nations and NATO."