Media >
Admiral Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), giving his keynote speech.
Mr. Grand, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment NATO
Panel Discussion (left to right): Mr. Karlsbergs, Policy Director MOT Latvia; Rear Admiral Verrastro, Director of Logistics USEUCOM; Brigadier General Gueguen, French Commander of CSOA; Mr. Hansen, ECOLOG International; Mr. Dohmen, General Manager NATO Support and Procurement Agency; Mr. Thomas, Deputy Head Logistics NATO
Mr. Brauss, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning NATO
(left to right): Admiral Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT); Ms. Tocci, Deputy Director of Istituto Affari Internazionali; Mr. Koster, Director Defence Policy & Capabilities, NATO
Mr. Covington, Strategic Affairs Advisor SHAPE

Defence Policy and Planning Symposium 2017

By Public Affairs Office

From 20 to 23 Feb 17 NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) hosted the Defence Policy and Planning Symposium (DPPS). The theme for this year's symposium was Strengthening Deterrence and Defence at NATO's Borders and Stability Beyond. The event was chaired by Mr. Heinrich Brauss, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning at NATO HQ in Brussels.

Mr. Brauss noted that this will allow [NATO] to address the two principal strands of work that have emerged from the Wales and Warsaw Summits: firstly, [to] strengthen NATO's deterrence and collective defence and secondly, [to] enhance NATO's ability to project stability beyond NATO's borders.

Deterrence and collective defence has always been at the heart of the Alliance's mission and purpose – as the fundamental means of preventing conflict, protecting Allied territories and populations, and maintaining freedom of decision and action at any time, Mr. Bauss pointed out.

The symposium provided an excellent discussion and networking opportunity for senior representatives from Allied nations, the Strategic Commands, NATO Agencies, attendees from across the NATO and European Union staffs as well as representatives from Australia, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland. Admiral Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), gave the second keynote speech and took part in the discussion panels. This year more than 260 military and non-military attendees from 34 nations exchanged views over NATO defence policies and deterrence security planning.

The attendees focused on three main themes: strategy, capabilities and adaptation. The changing strategic environment and efforts needed on NATO's strategic level to meet future challenges were addressed. The audience was given an overview of planning for future Alliance capabilities, especially concerning the topics interoperability, connectivity and innovation.

The symposium's chairman summarized that the attendees […] have had very interesting, enriching and very vivid exchanges. And we have got some really good food-for-thought to incorporate into our future work. He pointed out, […] that this has been another productive symposium. It has provided important input to our future work and […] many of the ideas expressed […] will resurface in the course of our work […].

Mr. Brauss expressed his gratitude concerning the venue As every year, we very much appreciate being able to make use of the excellent conference facilities here at the School as well as the beautiful setting offered by Oberammergau. Getting out of our stuffy offices and breathing the fresh Bavarian air helps to bring new ideas and perspectives to our discussions – and that is, indeed, the purpose of our Symposium.


The DPPS is an annual informal gathering that started in the mid-seventies. NSO has been hosting the Defence Planning Symposium for the last several years. This year the title changed from Defence Planning Symposium to Defence Policy and Planning Symposium.