June 13th marked the 15th Anniversary of Supreme Allied Command Transformation Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
As one of NATO’s two strategic commands, Allied Command Transformation has been located in the United States since its inception in 2003. The city of Norfolk, and the region as a whole, serve as exceptional hosts to military and civilian personnel from 34 allied and partner nations who are assigned to Allied Command Transformation.
The Mayor of Norfolk, Mr Kenneth Alexander, along with several other distinguished guests, participated in the ceremony and expressed his gratitude to NATO's presence in the Hampton Roads area.
But the roots of NATO’s presence in Norfolk, on American soil, go much further back in time.
Last year we commemorated the centennial of the Norfolk Naval Base, created primarily to defend and safeguard the passage across the Atlantic Ocean.
At the early stage of the Cold War back in 1953, it made perfect sense to establish Allied Command Atlantic that became Allied Command Transformation on June 2003.
As necessity to secure sea lines of communications remains, a new Joint Force Command will soon be established here; while Allied Command Transformation will focus on Warfare Development.
“It is a complex task, because today, warfare can mean anything from crisis response to high intensity operations, from projecting stability to preparing for war” said General Mercier addressing the ceremony participants.
These changes, among others, are part of NATO’s continuous adaptation efforts. The command focuses on transforming NATO’s military capacity to the constantly evolving environment, while Allied Command Operations, located in Mons, Belgium, focuses on current operations.
After 15 years of hard work Allied Command Transformation has reached a moment in its history when the adaptation allows to comfort the Command in its innovative role at the forefront of warfare development for the Alliance.
“Our 15th Anniversary is the beginning of a new journey that will reinforce NATO’s presence in Norfolk… here in “NATO’s Home in America”. Long live Allied Command Transformation!” concluded General Mercier.