The conference brought together the Air Chiefs or representatives from 19 Partner countries, nine of which participated in the conference in-house and the other ten joined via video link.
NATO cooperates with a range of Partner nations and they contribute to several of NATO's core activities, from shaping policy to building defence capacity, developing interoperability and managing crises. NATO's Partnership programmes also assists development of national defence and security institutions and forces.
We want to build trust and achieve common understanding about what matters to NATO and Partner Air Forces – professional delivery of air and space power. This event provides a unique opportunity to strengthen our relationships and exchange perspectives on air-related matter
"We want to build trust and achieve common understanding about what matters to NATO and Partner Air Forces – professional delivery of air and space power. This event provides a unique opportunity to strengthen our relationships and exchange perspectives on air-related matters," said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander Allied Air Command.
Highlighting the conference's importance, Partners use this time as an opportunity to improve security for the broader international community. General Harrigian set the strategic context for the discussions to follow including the ongoing NATO Operation Allied Solace and support of the US-led Operation Allies Refuge. He discussed AIRCOM's standing missions of Air Policing and Ballistic Missile Defence, and then focused on the importance of Allied and Partner Integration.
Mr. Rob Smith, AIRCOM's Senior Intelligence Analyst talked about the changing strategic environment noting NATO faces challenges in multiple directions. "The strategic environment is unpredictable. In addition to flexibility and dynamic responses, strong Partners are crucial to NATO's ability to conduct missions in the next decades," he underlined.
General Shunji Izutsu of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force spoke about deterrence and military interoperability. He identified three 'Multis' For Deterrence: Multi-national, multi-domain and multi-communication.
"Deterrence and Defence are the heart of the Alliance. While reaffirming its commitment to the three core tasks, collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security, NATO has now placed a renewed emphasis on deterrence and defence," emphasized Mr. Pierre Goudal, International Staff from NATO Headquarters Brussels. Mr Goudal kept on by quoting US General Bradley who once said: "Airpower has become predominant, both as a deterrent to war, and – in the eventually of war – as the devastating force to destroy an enemy's potential and fatally undermine his will to wage war."
Partner countries represented at the conference were Algeria, Bahrain, Colombia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mongolia, Qatar, Pakistan, Serbia, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The conference wrapped up by discussing synergies and how Allied Air Command and Partner nations could best provide mutual support and benefit in air-related activities.