Allied Air Force Chiefs and Senior Enlisted Leaders from 27 NATO nations and four Partnership nations convened at Headquarters Allied Air Command, Ramstein Airbase, Germany on July 2 and 3 for the 2018-1 NATO Air Chiefs’ Symposium.
The Commander of Allied Air Command, General Tod D. Wolters welcomed the Air Chiefs and Senior Enlisted Leaders and presented his perspectives on the current security environment and NATO’s strategic shift from assurance to deterrence. “The support of Air Power from across the Alliance provides a credible and responsive deterrence and defence posture. Air Power is critical in meeting NATO’s desired objectives while providing key enablers in the defence of joint forces,” said General Wolters. “We stand ready to provide multi domain command and control of Air and Space assets as we deter our competition.
Our centralized control and decentralized execution posture gives us great flexibility across our area of responsibility.
The continuous improvements in our command and control tools and the experience gathered in our exercises have shown we are well prepared to meet the upcoming challenges.”
To provide context to the discussions, the Air Chiefs attended informational multi-media presentations, an Allied Air Command mission brief, and a tour of the Operations and Situation Centres. The event also brought together several distinguished visitors, to include the new Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Deputy Undersecretary of the United States Air Force for International Affairs, Ms. Heidi Grant, Commander of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, Major General Dawn Dunlop, and Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, Executive Officer of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Programme.
Air Chief Marshal Peach delivered his political-military perspective to inform the Air Chief’s discussions. The main themes of the symposium covered ‘Airpower’s Unique Contribution to NATO’s Success’, ‘Challenges to the Delivery of Air Capabilities’ and ‘The Way Forward’. Topics for face-to-face conversations of the Air Chiefs during the meeting included Air contributions to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence missions in Eastern NATO countries, Air-specific outcomes of the NATO Command Structure Adaptation, and an update on modern fighter aircraft integration into existing fleets as well as an outlook on the United States contribution to NATO Ballistic Missile Defence.
The symposium ended with a debriefing held by General Wolters and a tour de table for situational updates on the national air forces contributing to NATO Airpower. Held twice a year at Allied Air Command, the NATO Air Chiefs Symposium provides a forum for Allies and Partners to discuss Joint and Air domain issues.