BRUSSELS — NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros, said here Jan. 14 that his highest priority is “to keep the interoperability and availability of allied forces” and that “collective training is very important.”
Paloméros was setting out the alliance’s transformation priorities, which also included developing partnerships with non-NATO members and upgrading NATO’s defense planning process, ahead of a meeting of NATO chiefs of defense this week.
He said collective training will be complemented by individual training and that ACT will be coming up with proposals in the area of e-learning.
With regard to NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative, he said the NATO Response Force transformation is a “key driver in the transformation,” including through the use of modern technology. “Thanks to technology,” he said, “we can simultaneously train several command levels and forces in the field.”
His second priority is the NATO defense planning process, where he sees a “real will of countries to cooperate together and use it as their own tool.” And finally, he wants a focus on developing partnerships (including via training opportunities) with a number of partner countries, such as those in the European Union.
There are more than 150 multinational projects that NATO helps its member countries with, covering areas from logistics to medical support to anti-missile defense to cyber defense, to using UAVs for intelligence gathering.
In response to questions about Syria, he described the Patriot system being sent to the region to protect Turkey as a “preventive and defensive measure.” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said they expect the Patriots “to be operational by early February, if not sooner.”
The SACT also expressed support for France’s actions in Mali, saying that he was “proud that France is taking a full part in fighting terrorism in this part of the world,” but noted that NATO was not involved.