On 20 November 2013, the Nations, the Resource and Policy Community, as well as the Strategic Commands met at NATO HQ to discuss NATO Forces 2020.
Building on the success of the first NATO Chief Information Officers (CIO) Conference on 28 November 2012, the 2013 Conference was styled as a forum for Nations to provide feedback regarding their satisfaction on the services provided, their willingness to implement National Programmes of Work with the NCI Agency, and their ambitions regarding the NCI Agency support to the Connected Forces Initiative and Smart Defence; in order to meet the Nations' level of ambition to achieve NATO Force 2020, in particular through the re-use of the NATO solutions in the context of the NATO first policy.
Mr Henrik Dam, Deputy Director DI (STR) set the scene of the Conference, on behalf of the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, by referring to the overarching goal of the Chicago Summit's Defence Package- NATO 2020; a coherent set of forces that meet the NATO level of ambition and are able to operate together. He emphasized: "We are required to increase exercises and expand education and training as well as use technology better (...) Indeed, it is extremely important that we don´t reduce defence budgets at this time while those are actually increasing in other areas of the world."
Then, the NCI Agency General Manager emphasized: "This forum allows us to discuss how the NCI Agency can support Nations in their key goals, such as NATO Forces 2020. Also, in the context of the upcoming NATO Summit of September, I believe it would be good to look at how the NCI Agency can support the NATO Force Structure, referring to NATO Response Force rotations."
He further expressed that: "The use of the same solutions in NATO and in the Force Structure brings savings and interoperability, not only in technical terms but also in training. With this solution, we have the ability to use core funding to make joint improvements and these tools could become global standards for Partners to connect; not just NATO, but also other Partners as demonstrated by Finland and Sweden, which actually implement some NATO standards in their organizations. In Afghanistan, we are working with partners from all over the world."
Further an outstanding presentation was given by LANDCOM Commander, LGEN Frederick (Ben) Hodges, who highlighted: "Every problem that we have has a technical solution; it's the policy decisions that will make it happen and whatever policy decision is made in Brussels, it's the soldier in the end that implements this policy."
Additionally, the UK representative shared his nation's view on the NATO First Policy; the German/Netherlands Corps illustrated a roadmap of the Strategic Partnership with the NCI Agency. The national Co-Vice Chairman of the C3Board shared his views on how to bridge the policy and governance committees and proposed a semi-annual forum to meet with the permanent C3 Representatives in preparation of the yearly CIO conference.
Finally, the NCI Agency legal advisor announced an upcoming workshop addressing the legal aspects of partnership with Nations, to be held in the first quarter of 2014.
The CIO 2013 conference report will be made available on the CIO external website along with the other conference materials.