This is the first visit of the Secretary of Defense, who was the last United States general to be appointed as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, from 2006 to 2009.
Secretary Mattis met with Admiral Manfred Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, who stated that just like in 2009, defence planning must remain agile and flexible to accommodate strategic surprise in an unpredictable security environment. To do so, NATO Allied Command Transformation has developed the Strategic Foresight Analysis and the Framework for Future Allied Operations.
The aim of the Strategic Foresight Analysis is to identify trends that shape the future strategic context and derive defence and security implications for the Alliance to 2030 and beyond. The Framework for Future Alliance Operations is a strategic level document, updated on a four-year cycle in concert with the NATO Defence Planning Process. It provides an informed perspective of the challenges and opportunities facing the Alliance forces in the decades to come.
Their discussions also focused on the Persistent Federated Approach and on the NATO Command Structure adaptation, conducted by Allied Command Transformation with allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium.
Secretary Mattis pointed out that ACT is having the key role to set the conditions for NATO to be able to reach quick political decisions at the speed of relevance and allow ACO to execute their tasks.
The United States stay full committed to the best military alliance in the world, NATO. The visit of the US Secretary of Defense highlights the importance of NATO to the United States and reinforces the link between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean, symbolized by Allied Command Transformation, the only NATO unit in North America.