NORFOLK, Va. – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s warfare development arm celebrated 20 years in operation on Wednesday.
All 31 countries in the alliance between North American and European countries were represented at a special ceremony outside the NATO Allied Control Transformation (ACT) headquarters off Terminal Blvd.
NATO ACT was founded in 2003 and is responsible for all NATO military operations, ensuring the alliance is keeping up with technological advancements and ready for future challenges.
“You see what’s going on in the world today and then you can see how important it is that, as a military alliance, you have a headquarters who really think about the future, think about what’s needed in order to defend,” Gen. Chris Badia of Germany, Deputy Supreme Allied Command Transformation for the command, told News 3 Wednesday afternoon.
The ceremony, which began around 3 p.m. and lasted roughly a half hour, included a flag-raising, tree planting, fly overs by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and two speeches.
“In marking this anniversary, I want to thank our fantastic host, the United States of America and the Hampton Roads community,” said Gen. Philippe Lavigne of France, Supreme Allied Command Transformation, during the ceremony.
Last year, the command began a new chapter in what it calls “strategic foresight,” focusing on three “horizons.”
The first includes events impacting current security, the second focuses on the next 20 years and the third concentrates on post-2043.