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Mar 10 2022

NATO Air Chiefs meet in Ramstein “Our job is to ensure we maintain Alliance sovereignty”

RAMSTEIN, Germany - On March 9 and 10, 2022, NATO Air Chiefs and senior representatives of Allied and Partner air forces met at Allied Air Command for the first Air Chiefs' Symposium in 2022 to discuss and share perspectives on Air and Space Power.  

Against the background of the present war Russia launched in Ukraine, the participants discussed air activities within NATO's strategic context and in support of ongoing Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area.

Today, we have roughly 130 combat aircraft [...] executing  missions 24/7 to defend our borders. This is a testament to your Air Forces' professionalism, teamwork, and dedication to collective defence

"Our job is to ensure we maintain the sovereignty of the Alliance", said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander of Allied Air Command. "NATO Air Power is leading the way in response to Russian aggression. Today, we have roughly 130 combat aircraft executing defensive air patrols, providing quick reaction alert, collecting intelligence, providing command and control, and performing aerial refueling missions 24/7 to defend our borders. This is a testament to your Air Forces' professionalism, teamwork, and dedication to collective defence," he added.

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NATO Air Chiefs and senior representatives of Allied and Partner air forces met at Allied Air Command for the first Air Chiefs' Symposium in 2022. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
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Commander Allied Air Command, U.S. Air Force General Jeff Harrigian (2nd frrom left), hosted discussions about NATO's air activities in support of ongoing Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
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Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod Wolters thanked the Air Chiefs for the superb cooperation between the nations and commended the flexibility and responsiveness of the Air Domain following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.
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In his address, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne, discussed innovation and modernisation within the Alliance's armed forces. Photo by Arnaud Chamberlin.

NATO's supreme commanders - both of them airmen - addressed the audience by VTC. Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod Wolters thanked all of the Air Chiefs for the superb cooperation between the nations and commended the flexibility and responsiveness of the Air Domain following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne, linking modernisation to digital transformation and the human resources dimension. "We need more innovation to modernize our capabilities, but also our processes; this calls for a change of mind-set on how we conduct warfare development", said General Lavigne. "Moreover, digital transformation is paramount; a digitally transformed Alliance will ensure better situational awareness, faster decision making and, by harnessing multi-domain operations, an Alliance that will be stronger together. Last, but not least, our goal should be for every individual to become a data warrior, constantly seeking to optimize the way we leverage data as a strategic asset", he concluded. 

From the nations, leaders of the French, German, Italian, Polish and Romanian Air Forces presented update briefings on topical matters in the field of Air and Space Power. Former AIRCOM Chief of Staff and now military advisor to the Director General of EUROCONTROL, Major General Karsten Stoye, gave an update on current and future cooperation with States to provide technical and operational solutions for joint civil-military air traffic management.

Allied Air Command hosts the NATO Air Chiefs' symposiums two times a year at Ramstein. Air and Space Force leaders discuss topical questions, provide updates and exchange lessons identified or best practices from their domains. On these occasions, the senior enlisted leaders of Allied and Partner come together for discussions about the future of their communities and how best to empower the members of the enlisted corps.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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