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American Forces Press Service

NATO Military Committee Visits Joint Forces Command

By Staff Sgt. Bryan D. Axtell, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee visited U.S. Joint Forces Command here March 2 to cement its relationship with NATO Allied Command Transformation.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Lance Smith, commander of both JFCOM and Allied Command Transformation, hosted the tour for the committee chairman, Canadian Gen. Raymond Henault, and flag and general officers representing the 26 nations of NATO.

“This morning we looked at Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, and we talked about some of the things that we're doing there in support of NATO, plus the things that we're doing individually as the U.S,” Smith told reporters after the morning meetings.

Later, they discussed issues important to NATO, “like how you get the military to interact with the other elements of national power, diplomacy and economic reform, and then how we can better support NATO from here in the current operations area and how we build to the future,” Smith said.

“They should be very fruitful, important discussions. It's an opportunity for us to get guidance and to get some feel for what the nations are thinking about and for us to be able to tell the nations what we're doing for them,” Smith continued.

Henault pointed out how the visit is a continuation of discussions at the recent summit of NATO political leaders in Latvia, which set the course for the continued transformation of the alliance.

“General Smith and his staff are the engine for that transformation,” Henault said. “The part they play is absolutely crucial for the alliance, and for that reason it's important for us to correspond and exchange ideas in this forum that we're in today.”

The NATO Military Committee consists of three-star officers from each of the organization’s 26 member states, according to the NATO Handbook. The Military Committee is also responsible for overseeing the development of NATO’s military policy and doctrine and for providing guidance to the NATO strategic commanders.

The strategic commanders are responsible to the Military Committee for the overall direction and conduct of all alliance military matters within their fields of responsibility.

Committee members had the opportunity to see various capabilities JFCOM has developed and examine possible opportunities for collaboration between the U.S. and NATO.

Committee members received briefings on joint training, joint capabilities development, joint systems integration, joint operational analysis, and joint innovation and experimentation during the half-day tour before traveling to ACT headquarters for a program of briefings on efforts there.

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Bryan D. Axtell is assigned to U.S. Joint Forces Command Public Affairs.)

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