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190812swe fin400On August 12th, 2019, Rear Admiral Jens Nykvist, chief of Royal Swedish Navy and Commodore Jori Harju, Commander of the Finnish Navy, visited NATO Allied Command Transformation.

They were greeted by General Paolo Ruggiero, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Paul Bennett, before discussing Partners' contributions to NATO missions and operations, NATO adaptation, as well as key pillars of NATO’s future work such as the Strategic Foresight Analysis and the Future Framework for Alliance Operations.

The visit of two of the highest military personnel of their respective countries was the right occasion to raise current issues about the Northern flank of the Alliance and the importance of partners like Sweden and Finland.

NATO’s partnerships are essential to the way NATO works. Partners’ effective military interoperability with NATO is of strategic importance to the Alliance, and Allied Command Transformation constantly examines opportunities to facilitate partner involvement in interoperability mechanisms. The complexity of today’s peace-support and stabilization operations and the multi-faceted nature of 21st century security challenges call for a comprehensive approach that effectively combines diplomatic, informational, economic, military and civil instruments of power.

NATO pursues dialogue and practical cooperation with more than 40 partner countries. Many of NATO’s formal partners and non-member countries offer substantial capabilities and political support for Alliance operations and missions.

General Ruggiero also took the opportunity to speak about interoperability, including Allies and partners. The example of the Baltic air policing mission offer opportunities for real-time experimentation to make improvements in each domain.

The discussions about the Northern flank of the Alliance, which took place on the west bank of the Atlantic Ocean, are a positive example of how there are no topics or issues which do not include the Alliance as a whole.

It is the role of Allied Command Transformation, NATO’s home in North America to make this link between the two sides of the ocean, and to deal with strategic topics in order to improve the Alliance’s military posture, now and in the future.