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Jul 3 2024


THE HAGUE, Netherlands – in his role as the Chairperson of the Federated Mission Networking (FMN) Management Group, Major General Jürgen Brötz lead the 5th bi-annual FMN Seminar, which was hosted at the World-Forum in The Hague from 25 – 27 June 2024.  

Based on the interoperability principle, FMN provides operational benefits for affiliated nations and partners. Adhering to FMN principles paves the way towards “Zero Day Interoperability”, ensuring that relevant forces can federate from the beginning of a mission or operation, ensuring operational effectiveness for the task at hand. FMN is based on principles that also include cost effectiveness and maximum reuse of existing standards and capabilities, helping Allied and Partner forces to better communicate, train and operate together.

The bi-annual event has become a cornerstone for advancing military communications and interoperability, featuring insights from a variety of high-level keynote-speakers to foster discussions within three different breakout-sessions. This year’s 5th iteration of the Seminar was opened by Netherlands Chief of Defence (CHOD), General Onno Eichelsheim on 25 June 2024. 

Representatives from FMN Affiliates and partner nations attended this year’s Seminar to discuss the “Alliance Interoperability towards Future Multi-Domain Operations”. Experts highlighted the ongoing challenges in achieving seamless communication across different national defence networks. The discussions revolved around standardization and harmonization with a clear focus on the operational needs. The urgent need for action in order to achieve “Day Zero interoperable forces” to be fit for purpose in case of an emerging crisis or conflict was underlined by almost all the keynote-speakers.

5th FMN Seminar, The Hague, Netherlands, 25 June 2024, Major General Jürgen Brötz, NCISG Commander.

When he addressed the participants, Major General Brötz introduced three driving forces guiding the FMN Framework:

First, FMN is about comprehensive interoperability across domains amongst Allies and coalition partners operational forces – no matter if army, air force, navy, space or cyber and no matter if on tactical, operational or strategic level – to enable instant operational effectiveness and interoperability.

Second, a high level of assurance is required to ensure that federation of mission network coalition partners and mission networking works at a minimum risk to the operation. We must build trust in the capability. 

A FMN mission instantiation must be built on a ‘need-to-share’ versus the ‘need-to-know’ paradigm and trust is the key to this paradigm shift.              And third, coalition partners should be able to federate quickly, or better, instantly. They should thus be capable of applying common procedures and instructions for rapid federation to deliver operational effectiveness or in other words Zero-day Interoperability.
5th FMN Seminar, The Hague, Netherlands, 25 June 2024, Major General Jürgen Brötz, NCISG Commander.

Cutting-edge technologies were showcased emphasizing encryption and cybersecurity measures. Participants explored the balance between open data sharing and maintaining security aspects.

5th FMN Seminar, The Hague, Netherlands, 26 June 2024, attendees.

In addition, presentations covered the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance mission planning and execution. 

Finally, interactive question and answer sessions fostered a deeper understanding of complex FMN topics. 

The 5th FMN Seminar provided a vital platform for networking, fostering international collaboration and was a great opportunity for defence representatives and policy makers to exchange ideas and discuss common challenges. 

Story by Public Affairs Team at NATO Communications and Information Systems Group (NCISG).

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