Nov 9, 2020
Amphibious leaders of seven North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations — France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States — participate in the Amphibious Leaders Expeditionary Symposium (ALES), a forum for general and flag officers to discuss opportunities for improved interoperability, command and control (C2), and utilization of amphibious forces within NATO. Meeting since 2016, ALES efforts have focused on integrating existing forces to contribute to NATO's deterrence posture and collective defense at the major joint operation plus (MJO+) level.
In 2017–2018, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa asked the RAND Corporation to design and facilitate three events with the objective of identifying suitable C2 constructs and associated doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities, and interoperability considerations for large-scale NATO maritime and amphibious operations. Aided by a scenario centered on confrontation with a near-peer competitor, maritime and amphibious leaders explored how to leverage NATO's existing amphibious capacity by aggregating national capabilities into a coherent C2 structure.
In this report, the authors analyze the results of these three events, note their observations, and state implications and potential next steps for NATO.
The Naples Tabletop
The Northwood High North Seminar
The Stavanger Wargame
Command and Control Constructs Explored
Scenarios and Forces
Comparison of Allied Maritime Headquarters