Good afternoon everybody. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak with you today.
I thought I would take a few minutes to talk to you about the changes that we are making in the alliance to reinforce both stability and security as we go forward.
So following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine the Alliance very quickly, fundamentally changed its posture.
We activated our strategic plans and this dramatically allowed us to increase our military presence on the eastern and south-eastern borders of the Alliance.
We began conducting enhanced vigilance activities in all domains – air, land, sea, space, and cyber.
We rapidly reinforced our presence on the ground eastern flank with thousands of troops, hundreds of aircraft, and dozens of ships within just days of the conflict.
We doubled the number of battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance from four to eight, and now we have increased our ability to reinforce them up to brigade level, upon need.
This strengthened posture has and will continue to shield all Allies. It represents the most significant reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.
Our new strategy for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area, which Rob alluded to a moment ago when he described the DDA, this has focused back on to collective defence.
For many years, we were focused on crisis management and out of area operations, and we have resolved with this new strategic approach, to return our primary focus to the task of collective territorial defence.
This has profound implications. During the Madrid Summit, we received clear guidance and a mandate to turn DDA as a strategy into a set of fully executable plans. And this will means changes to our current plans, structures, posture, and readiness levels.
We are now in the process of implementing and developing a family of plans that describe “How” the Alliance operates in peace, crisis, and war to provide for collective defence.
National military plans will be interlinked again with Alliance plans and all thirty NATO Allies will have a harmonized planning blueprint that will incorporate National forces and capabilities into our deterrence posture for the entire European Area of Operations.
This DDA family of plans, as we call it, is the key. It will drive our structure, our operations, our activities, and our investments into the future. It will result in changes to include in our command and control structures.
So as work continues on these plans, it remains a team sport. Our strongest and most enduring advantage will continue to be the unmatched unity of this Alliance. And that means we are able to connect them together into a system of collective defence that ensures and will continue to ensure that no Ally is left alone to deal with any security challenge that this Alliance might face.
Thank you again, I look forward to your questions.
And to the Chairman as always, I thank you for your ability to convene this magnificent group of Chiefs of Defence, and Philippe and myself, in order to have the profound sorts of discussions we enjoyed today.