flag-raisingOn Thursday, September 7th, NATO’s home in North America held an annual ceremony during which the 29 flags of NATO’s members are simultaneously raised to full mast.

This ceremony reflects the environment in which the Command operates: One team working towards the security of one Alliance. General Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, welcomed new members of the Allied Command Transformation team to the Command and set priorities for the coming year.

First, General Mercier commended all members of the Headquarters for their commitment and dedication to NATO's command structure functional adaptation. He stressed the fact that Allied Command Transformation and Allied Command Operations have worked hand-in-hand over the last months, with an unprecedented level of coordination, in order to create options to best position the Alliance. Once finalized, this transformation effort will continue to guide the programme of work.

General Mercier also asked all members to foster a culture of innovation in order to make the Command NATO’s hub for innovation. In the coming week, the Command will be seized with building the mind-set for innovation and in the coming months the Command intends to leverage a global network of people and organizations in NATO, partner nations, and in the private sector, to fostering innovation through the Alliance. The strategic environment necessitates such adaptation.

General Mercier stressed that the age of “business as usual” was over and innovation is the key to successfully adapt an Alliance.