ACT PAOPublished on 17 November 2016
SOFIA, Bulgaria – More than 300 military and civilian experts in Concept, Development and Experimentation gathered in Sofia, Bulgaria, for the annual International Concept Development and Experimentation Conference November 14th-16th.
The three-day conference is hosted by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria, and sponsored by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation. The theme for the conference is “Adaptation and Innovation in a Dynamic Environment” and the conference was an opportunity for the delegates to discuss their problems and challenges, and explore solutions, to some of the issues facing Allies and partners.
“Innovation and adaptation are essential tools in building the bridge between today and tomorrow. You are here to help improve these bridge building tools,” said Admiral Manfred Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. “We must ensure that the Alliance maintains its edge in a constant changing security environment. This requires a clear link between the short-term requirements of today and our long-term adaptation.”
The conference included key note speeches from General Constatin Popov, Bulgaria Chief of Defence, Brigadier General Henrik Refshauge Sommer, Allied Command Transformation’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Capability Engineering and Innovation, Brigadier General Paul Bauman, Joint Staff Deputy Director for Future Joint Force Development, and Professor Todd Tagarev, Director of the Defence Institute, as well as a panel moderated by WTOP’s National Security Correspondent JJ Green. Seminars and workshops covering “Building and Protecting Societal Resilience against Future Threats”, “Multinational Examination of U.S. Joint Concept for Integrated Campaigning” were also hosted for those in attendance.
General Popov stressed the importance not only of the conference, but also how honored he was to have some of the world’s greatest innovators and minds in Sofia.
“It’s a privilege for us to be part of all the discussions and hear the ideas from this group. Hopefully our guests will take home good memories from their time in Bulgaria and will come back,” said Popov.
Brigadier General Sommer said that the ideas and discussions that come out of the conference reflect great importance for not just the Alliance but can have positive effects world wide as demonstrated by NATO’s signed Protection of Civilians policy developed from the 2015 conference.
“This conference provides a great venue to discuss, network, connect, and gain more knowledge. It exposes the importance and relevance of concept development and experimentation,” said Sommer.
With the successful completion of the 2016 conference, Allied Transformation Command is already tying this year’s lessons to next year’s conference, which will take place in the United Kingdom.
L. J. De Rothschild