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160225dps250Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Denis Mercier, paid his first visit to NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) on the occasion of the Defence Planning Symposium (DPS) hosted by the School, which took place from 23 to 25 February 2016 and was chaired by Mr Heinrich Brauss, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning, International Staff, NATO.

The theme for the symposium was "Planning for NATO's long term adaptation to the shifting security environment." General Mercier, who was welcomed to NSO by US Navy Captain Scott Butler, Commandant, addressed the participants and in his keynote speech he pointed out how, "for almost 40 years, this annual forum has exerted a direct influence on the future capabilities and structures of NATO forces. Today, more than ever, the Alliance needs to better understand our complex and rapidly evolving security environment in order to adapt our capabilities accordingly" stated the General. He added: "Our continuous political and military adaptation has enabled the Alliance to maintain the most appropriate and credible deterrent and defence posture over the last 67 years."

The DPS has been conducted annually since the mid-seventies. Around 290 civilian and military personnel from 30 nations were in attendance this year, discussing NATO's long term adaptation to the shifting security environment.