GENERAL BIENIEK, DEPUTY COMMANDER SUPREME ALLIED COMMAND VICE-ADMIRAL FRANK PANDOLFE, COMMANDER OF STRIKEFORNATO

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1 GENERAL BIENIEK, DEPUTY COMMANDER SUPREME ALLIED COMMAND VICE-ADMIRAL FRANK PANDOLFE, COMMANDER OF STRIKEFORNATO ADMIRALS, GENERALS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN FIRST OF ALL, LET ME GIVE YOU A VERY WARM WELCOME TO PORTUGAL, AND WISH YOU A VERY FRUITFUL CONFERENCE. LET ME ACKNOWLEDGE, AS WELL, THE OPPORTUNITY THE ALLIED COMMAND FOR TRANSFORMATION GAVE ME TO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS WITH YOU ON THIS STARTING DAY OF THIS CONFERENCE. AS YOU ALL KNOW, THE OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT DOESN T STOP CHANGING, AND CHANGES QUITE RAPIDLY ACTUALLY, FOR VARIOUS REASONS, INCREASING EVEN MORE THE UNCERTAINTY WE ALL HAVE TO FACE ON A DAILY BASIS.

2 IN ADDITION, WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE FINANCIAL CRISIS THAT IS DRIVING THE POLITICAL DECISIONS, BUT NOT THE PERCEIVED THREATS, ESPECIALLY IN EUROPE. WHILE COUNTRIES STRUGGLE TO FIX THEIR FINANCIAL AND ECONOMICAL TURMOIL, THE SECURITY THREATS DON T GET ANY BETTER, ON THE CONTRARY, THEY TEND TO GET SMARTER, WORST, AMPLIFIED BY A RAPID EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY, WITH A VERY LOW COST AND HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE. THIS IS A TIME WHEN WE MUST DO MORE, WITH DECREASING DEFENSE BUDGETS, AND NATIONS SEEK WAYS OF RESPONSIBLY REMAIN MILITARILY RELEVANT AND CAPABLE OF KEEPING OUR SOCIETIES SECURE, WITH OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS RUNNING PROPERLY. INITIATIVES LIKE SMART DEFENSE REPRESENT THAT EFFORT, AND A RENEWED PARTNERSHIP CULTURE, THAT ENCOURAGES ALLIES TO COOPERATE MORE, IN DEVELOPING, ACQUIRING AND MAINTAINING MILITARY CAPABILITIES TO UNDERTAKE THE ALLIANCE S ESSENTIAL CORE TASKS, AS AGREED IN THE NATO STRATEGIC CONCEPT SIGNED HERE IN LISBON.

3 THE SECOND INITIATIVE, REGARDING THE CONNECTED FORCES, CONCEPT THAT PORTUGAL FULLY SUPPORTS, REGARDS COOPERATION, COLLABORATION AND INTEROPERABILITY ENFORCEMENT, AND THIS CONFERENCE COMES AT THE RIGHT TIME TO HIGHLIGHT THAT NEED, BOTH INTERNALLY, TO NATO, AND TO OUR ALLIES AND PARTNERS. TODAY LET ME FOCUS ON INTEROPERABILITY. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN COMMON MILITARY EQUIPMENT. IT MEANS THE EQUIPMENT CAN SHARE COMMON FACILITIES, INTERACT, CONNECT, COMMUNICATE AND EXCHANGE DATA AND SERVICES WITH OTHER EQUIPMENT. INTEROPERABILITY IS SOMETHING THAT FULLY SUPPORTS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE NATO INITIATIVES, AND IT REQUIRES SPECIFIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING TO BE IMPLEMENTED. AS YOU KNOW AND REGARDING THE NATO REFORM AND TRANSFORMATION, PORTUGAL HOSTS THE STRIKFORNATO, AND IS AWAITING THE ARRIVAL OF THE NATO COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM SCHOOL FOR 2016/2017. TIME FRAME.

4 AS THE NATO COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM SCHOOL BUSINESS CASE IS IMPLEMENTED, IT IS IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT THAT THE SCHOOL WILL BECOME A MODERN COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM TRAINING CENTER, AND SHOULD BE VIEWED AS ONE ELEMENT OF A BROADER, AND MORE INTEGRATED NATO EDUCATION AND TRAINING FRAMEWORK. PORTUGAL WILL BECOME A KEY NODE OF AN INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENT, FEDERATED ACROSS NATO AND POTENTIALLY OTHER NATIONAL SITES, DELIVERING CIS/FUNCTIONAL SYSTEMS COURSES TO ITS STUDENTS AT A VARIETY OF LOCATIONS. THE PORTUGUESE ARMED FORCES ARE ADOPTING A NETWORK WHERE PEOPLE ARE ONE TRIAD OF THE NATO NETWORK ENABLED CAPABILITY CONCEPT THE OTHERS ARE TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION. THE CHALLENGE BEHIND IT, IS TO ADAPT OUR MENTALITIES AND TO CREATE THE WILLINGNESS IN THE PEOPLE TO SHARE INFORMATION, HAVE THE RIGHT POLICY FOR IT, MAKE IT SECURE AND INCORPORATED ON OUR DAILY ROUTINES.

5 TO ACHIEVE THAT PURPOSE, PEOPLE REQUIRE THE NECESSARY COMPETENCIES, KNOWLEDGE, AND THE RIGHT SET OF TOOLS. SKILLS, IN PARTICULAR, NEED TO BE REGULARLY ADAPTED AND REFRESHED, OFTEN AT SHORT NOTICE, IN ORDER TO EMBRACE THE EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY. WITH THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY, AND THE RIGHT PEOPLE, WITH THE RIGHT SET OF SKILLS TO EXPLOIT THAT TECHNOLOGY, THE OPERATIONAL COMMANDER WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE BETTER AND MORE INFORMED DECISIONS, AND SPEED UP THE DECISION CYCLE IN HIGHLY COMPLEX AND FAST TEMPO SITUATIONS, TO ACHIEVE THE DESIRED EFFECTS. THE MAIN TOPIC OF THIS CONFERENCE, CONNECTING FORCES, WILL GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS, LISTEN AND LEARN WITH ONE ANOTHER, SO WE UNDERSTAND BETTER HOW TO BE MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THIS SUBJECT, HOW TO EDUCATE AND TRAIN PEOPLE ON IT AND HOW TO BECOME MORE INTEROPERABLE AND RESPONSIVE ON A FAST CHANGING AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEMANDING WORLD.

6 AS THE DECISION CYCLE BECOMES FASTER AND FASTER, THE MAN AND WOMEN IN ALL OUR ARMED FORCES ARE STILL THE MOST VALUABLE ASSET, AND THEY WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY THE CENTRAL ROLE IN OUR STRATEGIES, REASON WHY IS ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT TO FIGURE OUT THE BEST WAY OF KEEPING THEM WELL INFORMED, WELL TRAINED AND CAPABLE OF MAKING SOUND DECISIONS. AS I THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST ON THIS THOUGHTS, ALLOW ME, ONCE MORE, TO WISH YOU A VERY PLEASANT STAY IN PORTUGAL AND A VERY SUCCESSFUL CONFERENCE.

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