General Tod D. Wolters hosted the first NATO Air Chiefs’ Symposium of 2019, bringing commanders from NATO’s Air Forces and other Allied Command Operations headquarters together.
The event was hosted at Allied Air Command Ramstein to discuss Air and Space Power’s contribution to enhancing deterrence and defence.
The event, say NATO, provided a venue for the senior representatives to exchange views and discuss opportunities to develop further cooperation in the Air and Space domains.
“As we enter the year of NATO’s 70th anniversary, our Alliance is stronger than ever,” said General Wolters in his opening address to the symposium.
“Today’s environment demands enhanced readiness and a forward-leaning posture to maintain 360-degree deterrence. Last year, we enhanced Alliance capabilities by establishing a more responsive Air command and control element to deliver full-spectrum Air and Space Power in support of NATO Joint Operations. 
This year will see a focus on continued efforts to further develop our multi-domain capabilities, including ever-vigilant capabilities in the air, space and cyber domains,” General Wolters added.
A highlight of the symposium was the key note address by the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir James Everard, who communicated his views on the strategic context and provided insights on the NATO Readiness Initiative, including potential challenges for NATO’s Air Forces.

31 COMMENTS

  1. NATO is too big and too unwieldy to be a serious military alliance. It’s an organisation now to provide limited security assistance to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Very few nations would enact article 5 in the face of Russian aggression if they themselves were not being directly threatened. The UK should remain a member but distance itself from the command structure. We should also seek the removal ( unfortunately no firm way to do this) of the weak link countries like Greece and Hungary and possibly Germany. These countries offer almost nothing in defence benefits and Cary great risks in the alliance political system as all three are heavily infiltrated by Russia.

      • Article 5 has only been tested once against the Taliban. One only has to look at the very look warm support for the UK over the Salisbury incident. Would Germany, Hungary or Greece declare war on Russia if it invaded Latvia?

        • I think this proves my point. NATO is a deterrent. It is only truly successful if it is never used. It is impossible to say exactly how things might have turned out if NATO had never existed but I think that comparing the death rate due to war in the last 70 years for NATO countries and its likely adversaries to that of the previous 70 (or indeed recorded history) might give an indication.

          • In no way an expert but NATO is becoming more like the EU. Let anyone in, what peron in their right mind would have a money / trade club and allow Greece to join for example?

            NATO is watering itself down by allowing ‘joke’ countries with no military to speak of, that don’t spend the 2% GDP, that have corrupt at worst, slightly dodgy at best governments, that may have grudges /disputes with each other, this list goes on.

            Time to talk to the Americans and other English speaking nations, possibly the french, and form a new mutual defence pact.
            Let the Germans and others fend for themselves in face of mother Russia, ISIS etc etc.

          • “NATO is watering itself down by allowing ‘joke’ countries with no military to speak of, that don’t spend the 2% GDP, that have corrupt at worst, slightly dodgy at best governments, that may have grudges /disputes with each other, this list goes on.”

            I think this, especially down south around the Med, was an attempt at preventing the spread of communism and the Warsaw Pact. Better to have them on your side, or maybe not?!

            Also in theory secured the NATO southern flank, kept the Black Sea Fleet tied up, etc.

            Communism had also taken hold in Greece at the end of WW2.

    • Actually Greece has a half decent military wth one of the biggest sub fleets in Europe, granted it’s directed at turkey but would be of more use than Spain or Italy in event of war

      • Yes Greece took out huge loans from German banks to buy German Submarines and German Leopard M.B.T.
        I wonder how many subs and tanks are actually serviceable. Anybody know?

        • None, the subs are currently doing tourist day trips around Mykonos & Lesbos to help pay back the Germans
          The tanks are being used as temporary housing in Athens as the prices have rocketed due to Chinese investors buying everything in sight.

          If you’re quick they’re taking bids on the Parthenon, £1billion Euros should get you a column or 2!

      • It has a decent military capability for its size however it’s government is highly dependent on Moscow for money and it freely allows the Russian’s to exercise its veto in both the EU and NATO. It’s military capabilities pale in comparisons to its political risk. It was brought in when we were worried about the soviets trying to take control of the Med but that’s no longer the case. Countries need to understand that NATO is not some free club where you get to come in a do whatever you want. The UK needs to face the reality that it can not rely on NATO and must have sovereign operating capability independent of either NATO or China. The defence Budget should focus on UK needs such as maritime and the artic rather than a large armoured force prepared to defend Germany or Poland. Russia is a paper tiger and poses little conventional threat. Xi Jin Ping is rapidly awarding himself demigod status in the worlds most populous country. That’s the real threat and NATO will be no use to combat it.

  2. Just read from official.gov website that all 9 p8s will be delivered next year with first deployment in the artic. Sorry bit off topic, this can’t be true can it? Didn’t think the last one would be until 2024

      • Daniele,

        In response to the above, you’re absolutely right in what you say. I was just pondering in a not very sophisticated way, that does the post WW2 model still really work today?

        By allowing some of these nations to join the club that don’t play by the clubs rules is it in danger of becoming a bit of an expensive joke propped up by the US? Trump has already said to the rest of NATO pay your way. What if they don’t? Will he /US withdraw?

        Your thoughts?

        • Quite agree RGR.

          Nothing wrong with your ways btw, I find some of your posts hilarious. Better than acting like a pompus arse like some.

          I have always believed in NATO, but am starting to waver. I consider the Northern countries like Netherlands, Norway, Denmark reliable allies. Spain, Turkey, obviously not so much!

          I’m also very keen on the idea of making more of the Anglosphere alliances and Japan.

          I wonder though if NATO folded what would happen in the vacuum? Even as a staunch believer in Brexit I can appreciate the ripples it’s causing in the established order.

          I doubt the US withdraws from NATO. it serves their purposes too well with the numerous bases they maintain in Europe.

          I believe Trump to be quite right though, on that and other things. Liberals cannot stand it when one points out the hypocrisy…

          • Well I’m glad you enjoy, I don’t profess to be an expert like some, but just an interested amateur.

            Never been in the forces but some of my family have, and I feel strongly we should support our guys n gals n whatever gender they chose to be even if we don’t necessarily agree with the politics behind where they are / what they’re doing.

            And yes I saw your comments to one of the pompous arses mentioning no names. Hey ho, be boring if we were all the same!

            My comments are never intended to offend, just some people seem to go looking for ways to be offended on this site.

    • Is there anything dear Gavin won’t announce, next he will be telling of the sailing of HMS dreadnought in 2032 followed by completion of the UK’s first Battlestar thanks the the billion quid he squeezed out of the treasury. As with Hammond and the rest of the Tory’s the day he leaves the MOD and gets promoted will be the day he starts pushing for MOD cuts again.

      Another Liam Fox style opportunist is the last thing the MOD needs.

        • Definitely talking himself into a leadership contender but until that voice breaks he’s got no chance. Good to see him getting stuck in in the artic though even if he did look like a saggy condom. Far better than the last lot of defsecs

        • I wonder if perhaps we have all become so cynical we cant see some good news / bit of a moral boost for what it is anymore?

          A lot of us ( I include myself) are quick to judge, quick to criticise, quick to be dismissive.

          Yes there’s a lot of doom and gloom around lately Brexit, cuts to this, cuts to that, economic gloom especially with news over the last few days.

          Would any of us swap being English / British / whatever to be a different nationality, live in a different country. Maybe a couple, US,Oz,NZ, but not many, anyone fancy emigrating to Ukraine or Azerbaijan?

          We seem to have lost a positive outlook on things, yes we are going through a bit of a dodgy patch right now but it will pass, the politicians and press doom monger us all to death.

          Think on how good it will be to be back in charge of our own destiny again! Some unelected fat cat in Brussels will no longer be able to dictate how we run this country.

          Well worth a bit of turmoil, and yes I appreciate some poor sods have lost their jobs through no fault of their own,but they will find new ones in time god willing.

          • With you there.

            “Yes there’s a lot of doom and gloom around lately Brexit, cuts to this, cuts to that, economic gloom especially with news over the last few days.”

            This is a Great Country, with a big economy, in the UNSC P5, in the G8, G20, on the board of the IMF, the World Bank, self proclaimed Nuclear power, a language spoken far and wide, and with cultural, diplomatic, and military links worldwide. In soft power we are almost unsurpassed, I think I’m right there? I’m not talking about money, but brand. Language, the Monarchy, weddings and funerals of, watched by a billion plus, influence, animal care, inventions, history that for right or wrong has touched many corners of the world.

            I’m damned proud of all that. And find it sad when some see that as wanting “return of empire” and all that crap. They are so, so wrong. It’s history! Many a nation would die for this nations status and history.

            “We seem to have lost a positive outlook on things, yes we are going through a bit of a dodgy patch right now but it will pass, the politicians and press doom monger us all to death.”

            I feel many, especially the young, have lost collective national confidence, pride, and esteem for the nation. Or maybe never had it in them or taught to them. And certainly many in the press who will always make a story.

            I’m always overjoyed at seeing a bit of old fashioned patriotism in people, example support for the Great Britain Olympic team when they do so well. 3rd in the World in 2012. 2nd in 2016. 2nd!!!

            Some want us to constantly apologise for the past.

            Take that “individual” who wanted Lord Nelson to be removed from Nelsons Column because of the Slave Trade? Attitudes were different then, you cannot judge using today’s standards. Do we see Italy ripping down all their magnificent ruins because the Romans used slaves? Or slaughtered countless numbers in the arena? Is Trajan not seen as a great emperor because he fiddled with kids, and worse? He is, and was, a great Emperor. And the Roman Empire was a great civilisation, which often did terrible things.

            “Think on how good it will be to be back in charge of our own destiny again! Some unelected fat cat in Brussels will no longer be able to dictate how we run this country.”

            I don’t need any convincing!

            “Well worth a bit of turmoil, and yes I appreciate some poor sods have lost their jobs through no fault of their own,but they will find new ones in time god willing.”

            That is because Japan has signed a FT deal with the EU! End of. They can build their cars at home.

            Whatever the reasons or disagreements over that, to me it highlights something. Where are our car makers? Major car makers, not the numerous minor ones. Why is that factory in Swindon making Japanese cars when we are more than capable of making our own.

            Foreign ownership of our factories and assets that can then be pulled away from under our feet like a rug is shameful if that is all we have in that area.

            I guess that sorry state of affairs stretches into other things, like ship building..oops!

            No, I’m damn proud of my country, and very sad that so many prefer to be a star on the EU’s flag than make our own star shine brightly, with Europe as friends and allies.

            Rant over. It is not a rant at all but I’ve been accused before of such when in fact if people want to beat the drum for their nation on a public forum I will happily do it all day!

  3. That part of the article about P8 delivery is misleading – I think it’s meant to say the delivery of nine P8’s from 2020. It’s no more than 3 in the first year or so I believe to enable an initial operating capability to be established.

  4. The website article is misleading – I think it should state delivery of 9 P8’s from 2020. The initial operating capability with the first 3 aircraft I believe with delivery not complete until 2023.

  5. I believe that NATO has probably surpassed its founders wildest dreams. They probably thought we would all be toast by now. 🙂

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