Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
Building Effective Command and Control for Multi-National Missions



Brussels - 19 May, 2014 European Defence Agency


The EDA is working with partners to develop new, more effective information sharing and decision-making architectures for military and civil emergency operations, writes Philip Butterworth-Hayes



Sometime soon there will be another humanitarian crisis emerging in a remote part of the world.  The European Union (EU) will send military forces to help stabilise the area while security, aid and medical services are mobilised.  Many nations and many different government and non-governmental agencies will be involved – but how should they communicate and share information so the correct decisions are taken on the ground to protect all personnel, including the host nation, while ensuring the effectiveness of the mission?


Network Enabled Capabilities

While the concept of network enabled capabilities (NEC) has become integrated into European national military structures over the last few years only recently has work begun to take this to the next stage – to develop a single secure command and control (C2) network to support multinational operations involving military and civil organisations in support of the EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP).


“There are three elements to this:  technology issues, the way you deal with the information being exchanged and an understanding of the people who use it,” said Chris Stace, Project Office Command and Control -Information. “We now have a series of work-streams to address these specific challenges in these areas and to connect to communications technologies.”


Developing a common information sharing and decision-making architecture for military forces of allied nations is difficult enough, as different national headquarters (HQs) have different standard operating procedures, different ways of managing information and different technical ways of communicating between different levels. “For operation Atalanta, for example, the UK provided the operational headquarters but the force headquarters is based on a ship and rotated every six months, so the C2 challenges are substantial.”


But when there is a need to involve civilian organisations in the C2 network the challenge becomes even more complex.  As EU expeditionary missions are becoming increasingly multi-national, involving growing numbers of small size deployments and linked to civilian missions, the flow of information at the strategic, operational and tactical levels needs to be carefully managed. 


Need for Operational Security

“A general can use a Smart Phone to speak to, and exchange data with, anyone in the world along with a map of anywhere in the world,” said Chris Stace. “But we face constraints in providing the ‘military iPhone’: operating in areas where there are no Wifi connections can be addressed but  principally it is facing security threats that most developers simply don’t worry about; and balancing the need to share information while securing information, and therefore maintaining operational security.”


The EDA’s NEC work culminated in November 2013 with a demonstration in Poland of how information could be exchanged between participating member states during a multi-national expeditionary operation (see “Shared situational awareness in Warsaw”).  This demonstration has led to the formation of the latest EDA project team which focuses on the information sharing needs within the EU’s command and control arrangements.    This involves linking C2 information technology (IT) and communications networks between participating Member States and developing new ideas for exchanging information between military and civil agencies during operations and missions.


Integration with national networks

The first part of the work is to study how the separate the functional area services (FAS) can be better integrated with C2 national networks – as used in EU HQ-providing  Member States.  The benefit is to improve the access from C2 platforms to key information areas such as administration, personnel recovery, operational planning, countering surface to air fires (C-SAFIRE), and logistics.


“We shall be researching what are the hurdles and what needs to be agreed between Member States – the technical standards, procedures, training regimes for example - by the end of 2014,” said Chris Stace. “Next year we will develop a business case for follow-on capability demonstrations, providing evidence to decision-makers on a more integrated approach to be followed in the future.


“By the end of 2015 we will also have the outcomes of the information-exchange gateways demonstration project,” said Chris Stace. “This will look at linking two C2 systems - one national and one EU system. That won’t solve the whole problem; but it is an important technical building block.”


“We are trying to add value by seeing whether best-practice military solutions can be taken on board by the civil side.” This also involves linking to the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme,  where there are proposals to research work into civil mission “situation assessment, information exchange and operational control” systems.


Command and Control in the Information Age

The success of military operations has for centuries depended on sound command and control.  This has not changed.  But the realities of the information age, the current security environment and the shape and size of the EU’s comprehensive approach to security and defence challenges have all made it more important than ever to develop a more systematic approach to deploying effective command and control networks. Decision-makers at all levels need improved situational awareness and they need to interact with growing numbers of actors, to speed-up processes and to keep ahead of their adversaries.  The EDA is working with Member States to put in place such enabling C2 measures. 



More Information

Partager cet article
11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 11:50
Defence matters - EU key documents 2013


09 April 2014 by EU ISS


When European Council President Herman van Rompuy proposed, in December 2012, to ‘launch work on the further development of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy’ with the commitment to ‘return to this issue in December 2013’, virtually all EU institutions and relevant bodies, departments, agencies and working groups engaged in an exercise that has involved simultaneously taking stock of achievements, assessing shortfalls, and identifying avenues for the future.

The collective mobilisation of the year 2013 has produced a number of dedicated analytical and policy papers – including by independent think tanks and research institutes – that amount to the most systematic survey of European defence in ten years. This pocket-sized compendium collects the official documents generated by all EU institutional actors in preparation of the ‘defence summit’ of 19/20 December 2013 and the Conclusions adopted by the EU Heads of State and Government at the end of the whole process.


Download document

Partager cet article
3 avril 2014 4 03 /04 /avril /2014 16:50
EDA Annual Conference Video


09 April 2014 by European Defence Agency


Conference Video Available

Last week's annual conference of the European Defence Agency was a landmark event for the European defence community.

Partager cet article
29 mars 2014 6 29 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
European Defence Matters: Speech by Claude-France Arnould


Brussels - 28 March, 2014 European Defence Agency


Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, emphasised in her opening speech at the Agency's annual conference "European Defence Matters"  that for Europe to be a "security provider" adequate capacities are needed. 


Priority must therefore be given to security and defence, to proper capabilities and to increased efficiency through cooperation and synergies with existing EU instruments. 


The full speech is available here


More information:


Partager cet article
28 mars 2014 5 28 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
European Defence Matters: Free Debate on Role of EDA


Brussels - 28 March, 2014 European Defence Agency


Can the EDA make a difference and if so, how to convince European leaders to use it to the full? - was the subject of the third round-table discussion. Graham Muir, Head of Strategy and Policy at the EDA, reflected on some of the successes in the Agency’s ten year history, such as AAR, helicopter crew training and maritime surveillance, reminding the audience also of the achievements made in support for industry – particularly SMEs – and security of supply.  “But there is scope to do so much more,” he said, introducing the first panel of the afternoon.


General Vincenzo Camporini, former Chief of Defence in Italy and now Vice President of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, addressed the question as to how better to use EDA from the perspective of a marketplace that is crowded with initiatives and said that the EDA has the luxury, perhaps, of choosing the role it can play. He underlined the need to involve EDA from the outset of preparing future projects.


Professor Sven Biscop from the Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations drew the analogy of European defence as an apartment building, in which the Member States could each afford their own apartment, but the question then became – who should be the architect? Proposing EDA’s role be considered as the architect in this case, he went on to say that “after completion and when we all move in – then the EDA becomes the building manager.”


Professor Anand Menon from King’s College Department of War Studies in the UK felt that the answer to the question how to generate additional success “is to engage the Member States, not Europe. We have not yet arrived at a Single European Market moment in defence.” Before we get to that point, he felt, we would have to achieve three things. Member States first needed to see defence as an element of socio-economic policy rather than the preservation of wider interests. Secondly, national defence is not enough and that no nation can ‘go on its own.’ Finally there is a need to persuade everybody involved that the EU is the best available institution for [the management of] collective defence. With the EDA to play a central role.


Graham Muir concluded that EDA was not a procurement agency but had the flexibility to bring together Member States with similar requirements in an à la carte approach. He recalled that there was provision in the Treaties for the European Commission to participate in and financially contribute to EDA activities. 


More information

Partager cet article
27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 17:50
How to move defence cooperation further and faster



Brussels - 27 March, 2014 EU Defence Agency


European defence capabilities: pool it or lose it – the first round-table discussion of the EDA 2014 annual conference – brought together a wide range of "bottom-up" and "top-down" perspectives of the challenges of moving the process forward in Europe.


"The alternative to Pooling & Sharing is not that every country still gets to keep their own capabilities," said Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norway’s Minister of Defence. The Nordic defence cooperation (NORDEFCO) system works, she said, because cooperation is based on practicalities and a shared strategic view. "NORDEFCO does not have a telephone number."


"My fear is that we risk an uncoordinated approach between countries," she said, "and the foundation to successful cooperation is trust. The difference in planning cycles for countries can be a major obstacle." She added that it takes between 15 and 20 years to plan, specify and take delivery of a submarine, one of the most costly of all military capabilities. The best way to move the process forward is to identify best cases and focus on capability shortfalls.


There are a number of drivers behind the process, according to General Patrick de Rousiers, Chairman of the EU Military Committee. The ability to create a capability collectively which would not be possible singly is a primary driver – so a single ship may conduct anti-piracy operations under a national flag but training and maintenance back at base is conducted collectively. Improving efficiency was the driver behind the formation of the European Air Transport Command (EATC)where 150 tactical and strategic air lift aircraft from five nations now work together. And then there are the political and industrial motivations not just to produce a single platform but to ensure it to support it for 20 or 30 years.


"Pooling is the way of the future," said General Sverker Göranson, Chief of Defence, Sweden. "I’m not convinced nations will necessarily lose capabilities otherwise but they could be degraded." Experience has shown that a good way to start is with just two nations and then grow from that.


Tim Rowntree, Director of OCCAR, spoke of the need to build confidence now that the process can and will work. "We need to learn to look objectively at what we have achieved," he said. Nations risk losing sovereign capabilities if their requirements remain diverse. "We do need to plan further ahead, to align requirements between nations… Platforms such as the A400M have shown that our industry can rise to the occasion and deliver world beating solutions."


Numbers can be a powerful persuader – if you can show how much can be saved through cooperation then this can be presented to policy makers and they then can be challenged to say "no", he said. And cooperation is not just an issue of long term, large scale capability developments – around 90% of urgent operational requirements have been delivered through international cooperation because many of these could not be delivered through national budgets.


But the changed mind-set required has not yet fully happened, said Alexander Vershbow, NATO Deputy Secretary General. Nations still show a reluctance to lose jobs or compromise on requirements. But there are positive changes, such as the emergence of the framework nation concept, where some full spectrum capability nations team with smaller nations to agree areas of specialisation and prove full capabilities between them, "so both can get more bang for the buck," he said. NATO has developed a successful strategic airlift command where C-17s are operated on a time share basis."


To move defence cooperation further you will have to create incentives.

Partager cet article
27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 17:50
European Defence Matters: Speech by Pieter de Crem

Brussels - 27 March, 2014 European Defence Agency

Pieter de Crem - Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence - outlined his commitment to a more systematic and long term approach to European Defence cooperation, in his speech at the EDA Annual Conference today.


He called for a "reinvigorated and strong European vision" of what role the EU wanted to assume in foreign policy and a commitment to pursue the military capabilities needed to underpin it.


The full text of his speech can be found here.

Partager cet article
27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 17:50
European Defence Matters: Turning political will into practical implementation


Brussels - 27 March, 2014 European Defence Agency


In her welcoming address at the European Defence Agency’s Annual Conference "European Defence Matters" on 27 March in Brussels, Claude-France Arnould – the Chief Executive of the EDA – outlined the importance of implementing the tasks given at the European Council in December 2013. She called on those present in the room to seize the opportunity and ensure that the implementation was there to follow the political will. She finished by calling on all participants to make the most of the conference as a unique opportunity where stakeholders from throughout the European Defence Community can meet and debate.


Cohesion, stability, and growth


The first keynote speech was delivered by Greek Minister of Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos, representing the current EU Presidency. He spoke of the importance of defence as a critical pillar for European cohesion, stability, and growth. He went on to talk about the danger of a growing arc of instability on Europe’s borders, stretching from North Africa through to Ukraine, and the need for enhanced cooperation to tackle common threats to Europe’s stability. He concluded calling for an enhanced role for the EDA to put defence more permanently on the European agenda.


Technological developments


Representing the upcoming Presidency of the EU, Italian Under Secretary of Defence General Domenico Rossi warned of the threats to industry and technological innovation from budget cuts. He argued that the developments of the past might not be possible with smaller defence budgets across Europe. He reinforced the importance of the EU Council in December, saying that although we may differ on ideas, when it comes to CSDP we are often on the same page.

Partager cet article
27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 17:50
European Defence Matters: Securing the Future Through Research and Innovation



Brussels - 27 March, 2014 European Defence Agency


While the first roundtable of the EDA’s annual conference "European Defence Matters" had focused primarily on capabilities, this time research, innovation, and industry took centre stage. Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence & Space called on European policy makers to decide what their ambitions are. He said, "we do not need special incentives, we just need programmes… Research and development is only worthwhile if we have the ambition to build the next generation of products. If we don’t have that ambition then it makes no sense to spend the money."


Michael Gahler, Member of the European Parliament and its Committee on Foreign Affairs & Subcommittee on Security and Defence agreed about the need to have a clear idea of what Europe wanted to achieve. He went further and called for a European defence review, to assess the situation at the moment, and to reverse the trend of industry and expertise leaving Europe.


He also argued strongly that that the artificial divide between civil and military research needs to be scrapped. He said "We must make use of any funds that are available." This was reiterated by Claudia Gärtner, CEO, Microfluidic ChipShop. She pointed out that for most new innovations, whether they had military or civil applications, the technology underpinning it was the same.


Jenny Body, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society was particularly concerned by the long term effects that current budget cuts for research and development would have. "We have to ensure that we do not lose the expertise. Remember the engineers who will build the next generation of civilian aircraft are probably only aged 3-4 today," she said. "We already face a shortfall of engineers now, if you don’t invest in research you will lose not only the technologies but the people capable of developing them in the future."

Partager cet article
27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 17:49
European Defence Matters: Keynote Speech by Catherine Ashton


Brussels - 27 March, 2014  European Defence Agency


Catherine Ashton, Head of the European Defence Agency, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy & Vice-President of the European Commission, keynote speech focused again on the outcomes of December’s European Council. She reinforced the calls for the implementation of the four key capabilities given to the European Defence Agency and emphasised that European Defence needs to be underpinned by the right capabilities.

Please find the full speech here.

Partager cet article
26 mars 2014 3 26 /03 /mars /2014 08:51
EDA Publishes Annual Report 2013


Brussels - 25 March, 2014 European Defence Agency


2013 was marked by the European Council in December where Heads of State and Government discussed defence topics. The Council Conclusions included important new taskings with clear timelines for the European Defence Agency (EDA). But while the European Council was a strong driver of the Agency’s work in 2013, this was not at the expense of other agreed priorities. 


The EDA Annual Report 2013 gives a clear and transparent overview of the EDA’s initiatives in the areas of capability development, armament cooperation, research and technology, industry and market as well as coordination with other European institutions and partners. It also features an overview of the recent reorganisation, important staff appointments as well as some facts and figures.

Download the EDA Annual Report 2013 here.

Partager cet article
25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 12:11
EDA Annual Conference "European Defence Matters" - draft agenda now published

25.03.2014 European Defence Agency


The draft agenda of the EDA Annual Conference "European Defence Matters" is available here (2014-03-18 EDA Conference 2014 DRAFT AGENDA). (Brussels, 18/03/2014)

More than 550 attendees are expected to attend


EDA Annual Conference "European Defence Matters" - draft agenda now published

More information : HERE

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents