NATO Bases around the World July 2013
NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium
by: Charlene Broad
The centrality to all actions enforced by National Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) lies in Brussels, Belgium, where the organisation’s headquarters are based. The headquarters hosts NATO’s administrative and political work and is the home of the North Atlantic Council.
Providing sovereignty and independence to partner countries, this headquarters acts as a hub for inter-governmental agreements on defence, security and peace to be actioned.
There are 41 partner nations with NATO, to date, as well as the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Security and Operation in Europe, who play an active role at the NATO headquarters. All of the partner nations, their national delegates and diplomats, work alongside NATO’s international staff and international military staff, based at the headquarters.
Located at Boulevard Leopold III, 1110 Brussels, Belgium, the NATO headquarters is located in the same host city to the European Parliament. This location was decided in 1999 when facilities at the then NATO headquarters in Paris, France were no longer adequate. The Alliance decided it was in need of a larger headquarters and the NATO heads of State and government decided to construct a new headquarters to meet this requirement. In 2002, during the Prague Summit, the Belgian government signed a contract to grant NATO concessionary rights for the construction of a new building. That site is now opposite the present official NATO headquarters site.
Now, this base hosts 4,000 employees on a full-time basis. These include, but are not limited to; 2,000 national delegates and military representatives supporting NATO work; 1,200 international staff and member of NATO agencies; and 500 international military staff. These people all work towards NATO’s primary goal; providing security and freedom to all its state members through defence and military measures, done in ac-
cordance with the principles of the UN Charter. NATO headquarters promotes togetherness in order to achieve security against global challenges. It aims to establish global responses to these challenges in order to achieve a global perspective and shared leadership. This is done in order to eliminate cyber security, piracy and terrorism, through global agreements in Special Forces, maritime, and critical military stability. Through these values, the headquarters most important achievements are as follows: 1. 1300 Standardisation Agreements 2. NATO partners participating in the Korean War in 1950-1953 3. The Lisbon Conference in 1952, expanding NATO 4. Military exercises in September 1952 (NATOâ€™s first naval exercise) 5. The Clandestine Planning Committeeâ€™s planned guerrilla resistance for any country conquered by the Soviets 6. Cuban Missiles Crisis of 1952, where NATO partners were on stand-by.
Allied Command Operations, Casteau, Belgium
by: Komal Patel
Established on April 2nd of 1951, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is the strategic headquarters of the Allied Command Operations (ACO), which is responsible for the planning and execution of all NATO military operations. SHAPE is one of the two NATO strategic military headquarters.
While SHAPE is currently located in Casteau, Belgium, north of the city of Mons, it was originally located in Rocquencourt, France. France was chosen for its central location in Europe, while Rocquencourt was chosen for the superior communications it proffered. However, in 1966 the French government under Charles de Gaulle chose to withdraw from the NATO military command structure. SHAPE relocated to Casteau in 1967. In 1950, Dean Acheson, the United States Secretary of State under President Truman, suggested that NATO allies create a large, combined military command compiled of units sent by individual nations. NATO’s military command would oversee the training and management of these units, and a commander dubbed Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe (SACEUR) would be appointed. SACEUR also serves as commander of the United States Europe Military Command, which has headquarters in Germany. The SACEUR is given the aid of an international staff and limited authority to guarantee that the individual nations’ units would be trained and structured to be a successful force. The United States’ President Truman nominated General Dwight D. Eisenhower to become the first SACEUR in December of 1950. Eisenhower took command of SHAPE, which had only 12 member nations at the time. Eisenhower was key in sculpting the image and mindset of SHAPE as a strongly connected group whose first duty was to SHAPE and NATO: “Here we know ourselves as a single entity in carrying out the objectives of NATO and in building up a strong defence for the purpose of preserving the peace. Actually, for the purpose of this operation: we shall set aside our individual nationalities.”
Currently, General Philip M. Breedlove serves as SACEUR. Breedlove assumed his post in May of 2013. Originally from the state of Georgia, Breedlove has been pri-
marily trained as a fighter pilot and has served as commander for various units since 1993.
In the hierarchy of command at SHAPE, SACEUR is the head. Directly underneath him are the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) and Chief of Staff (COS). The United States is permanently assigned the post of SACEUR, and the United Kingdom is now always assigned the post of DSACEUR. The Federal Republic of Germany is permanently assigned the post of Chief of Staff. Sir Richard Shirreff is the current DSACEUR, and General Werner Freers serves as Chief of Staff. SHAPE currently has its own full-fledged community, complete with an international school, chapel, cinema, and various restaurants and shops. There is a bank, a postal service, and athletic facilities. Members of SHAPE live within this community with their families and are welcome to participate in events and activities. An unofficial community magazine is also produced semi-monthly.
After the 2002 NATO Summit at Prague, efforts to streamline the military structure of NATO were put into place. As a result, the Allied Command Operations was instituted in the place of the former Allied Command Europe. The Allied Command Operations currently has operations in a variety of places. In Afghanistan, ACO is leading the International Security Assistance Force. The Force’s role is to help institute a representative government and instil self-maintaining peace and security. While the Force was created in 2001 under the United Nations Security Council, NATO did not take command of it until 2003. In November of 2010, NATO announced their plan for transitioning the leadership of security to Afghan National Security Forces by the end of 2014. The ACO is also battling piracy off the Horn of Africa with the comprehensive Operation Ocean Shield by building off of previous counter-piracy efforts.
In the Mediterranean, Operation Active Endeavour conducts maritime operations as part of NATO’s counter-terrorism program. Originally launched in 2001, the Operation gathers information and intelligence. Technologies are also currently being developed to allow the transmission of information between NATO and other agencies and organizations working to end terrorism. The ACO also takes part in the Kosovo Force, a NATO-led international effort; the Kosovo Force first entered Syria in 1999, and it leads efforts to maintain peace and security. The Force’s mission includes promoting public safety, organizing the international humanitarian effort, and supporting the development of security forces along with a stable, democratic Kosovo.
Allied Command Transformation, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
by: Yeram Choi
The Allied Command Transformation Headquarters serves as the physical location for General Jean-Paul Paloméros, who assumed Command on September 28, 2012 to fulfil his duties as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), along with his counterparts. It also functions as the powerhouse of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT). NATO’s ACT also aims to implement its strategic objectives in both the short and long terms. First, ACT hopes to provide support to NATO missions and operations on a consistent basis. Second, it strives to lead NATO military transformation. Third, it works to improve relationships, interaction, and cooperation with affiliated partners, nations, and international organizations.
Located in Norfolk, Virginia of the United States, HQ SACT provides governance over ACT’s subordinate sectors such as the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), the Joint Forces Training Centre (JFTC), the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), as well as several NATO schools and various centres of excellence. The infrastructure of HQ SACT divides into the following sections: Command Group, the Capability Development Division, the Joint Force Trainer Division, the Strategic Plans and Policy Division, the Integrated Resources Management Division, the Military Cooperation Division, National Liaison Representatives, and the Partnership for Peace Staff Element and Reservists. All of these divisions collaborate within their respective efforts to ensure that the ACT leads NATO’s Transformation. They also work together to further the vision statement of ACT: to serve as an active proponent for change, to advocate for extensions of Alliance capacities, and to enhance the military capabilities and effectiveness of the Alliance.
Consistent with the priorities of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the main functions of HQ SACT attempt to provide the conceptual framework for combined joint operations in the future. In this effort, HQ SACT defines how future operations will be conducted and the possible complication associated with these efforts. It takes new operational concepts (both external and self-generated) and assesses their costs and benefits. Finally, they bring these ideas into fruition through doctrine development, scientific research, experimentation, and technological development. On a multilateral level, HQ SACT strives to implement these measures by persuading other nations to acquire the necessary credentials to move forward, and also
by providing the education and training needed by NATO forces to carry out their work. Since its establishment in 1951, HQ SACT has made a positive impact in the surrounding Norfolk, Virginia community through the Norfolk NATO Festival. This celebration, which occurs every year, attracts considerable attention as the only one of its kind in the United States to honor the NATO Alliance and its constituents.
Almost fifty years since its inception, the festival has recently expanded into a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which continues to honour the vital work of NATO through numerous cultural and educational events. Attended by thousands of people from the Virginia area and from various regions of the country, these events offer commercial, social, and cultural settings in which different organizations and businesses have the opportunity collaborate to host different events. Open to the public and easily accessible, these events spread public knowledge and appreciation for the work of NATO, and also encourage continuous civic engagement on the part of U.S. citizens. Norfolk Public Schools, for instance, benefit greatly from these events, as young students gain critical exposures to the international arena, and develop an interest in cultivating global mindsets at an early age. In 2009, the festival drafted new strategic goals for further engagement with the Virginia community and beyond. It currently works to create new friendships among supporters of NATO, to provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchange, and to recognize the crucial role of the U.S. military in peacekeeping around the world. Last but not least, the festival explores new avenues of trade between Norfolk and the rest of the world, and hopes to engage the civilian participation from Virginia and across borders in the process.
Allied Joint Force Command, Brunssum, the Netherlands
by: Payal Saxena
Following the Vision, Many Nations: One Mission, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC-Brunssum), located at Brunssum, the Netherlands, is one of NATO’s two joint operational commands, the other being Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFC-Naples). JFC-Brunssum is assisted by three component commands, specializing in land, air and maritime operations. These consist of the Land Command HQ in Izmir, Turkey (LC Izmir), Maritime Command HQ in Northwood, UK (MC Northwood) and Air Command, Ramstein (AC Ramstein), Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Along with the JFC- Naples, JFC-Brunssum reports to Allied Command Operations (ACO), based at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), near Mons, Belgium. JFC-Brunssum also serves as the NATO higher headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
JFC HQ Brunssum that came into being on July 1, 2004, was built upon the former HQ Allied Forces Central Europe’s (HQ AFCENT) infrastructure, which has been in use since 1967. On March 3, 2000, Headquarters AFCENT stood down as the new Regional Headquarters Allied Forces North Europe (RHQ AFNORTH) took on the command followed by the reorganization in the Joint Force Command in 2004. The process was more than a mere name change for the NATO infrastructure located in Brunssum. It was a result of a major realignment of forces and command restructuring being carried out by NATO. During the Prague Summit of 2002 the restructuring cycle commenced. During the Summit, Alliance members decided to change the structure of NATO commands in order to effectively handle the security challenges of the 21st century. The decision that NATO’s operational headquarters will no longer be dependent on regional ties was taken in this summit, thus allowing more flexibility to the commands.
The commands were restructured by 2005. Further restructuring of the NATO operational commands was conducted in 2011 and in 2012 when the HQ changed its name to Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command (HQ JFC) Brunssum. JFC-Brunssum commands, supports, enables and facilitates the mission planning and execution of combined, joint operations using a Comprehensive Approach in order to meet Alliance objectives. One of the current primary missions of JFC
Brunssum is the International Security Force in Afghanistan that was brought into force by invoking Article 5 of the NATO charter. Operational Planning, Military Cooperation and NATO Response Force (NRF) are its other important activities. NATO carries out several operations like the NATO support to African Union which encompasses a standing agreement to provide Strategic sealift and airlift support for African Union Troop Contributing Countries willing to deploy to Somalia. Peacekeeping is defined by the United Nations as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create conditions for sustainable peace. It is distinguished from both peace building and peacemaking. Peacekeepers monitor peace processes in post-conflict regions and assist former combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed. Piracy is another JFC- Naples important operation. Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa is threatening to undermine international humanitarian efforts in Africa, as well as the safety of commercial maritime routes and international navigation due to escalating piracy. NATO is actively helping to increase security by conducting counter-piracy operations in the area. The fight against terrorism is a primary NATO agenda. At the Riga Summit in 2006 NATO declared that terrorism, together with the spread of weapons of mass destruction, are likely to be the principal threats to the Alliance over the next decade and more. Military Cooperation allows NATO to forge partnerships as a security policy, a tool to achieve NATOâ€™s objectives. Consequently, as part of its comprehensive approach to security, NATO has developed various types of cooperation and dialogue.
Allied Joint Force Command, Naples, Italy
by: Payal Saxena
Located in Naples, Italy, Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFC-Naples) is one of NATO’s two operational commands. JFC-Naples is assisted by three component commands, specializing in air, maritime and land operations. These are Allied Air Command Izmir (AC Izmir), Allied Maritime Command Naples (MC Naples) and Allied Force Command Madrid (AC Madrid). The Joint Force Command in Naples provides the headquarters for NATO operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Mediterranean. (JFC) Naples prepares plans and conducts military operations in order to maintain the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states and freedom of the seas and economic lifelines. Twenty-two NATO nations contribute to the JFC Naples military staff to help deter aggression, play a role in defending the NATO territory and forces, upholding freedom of the seas and economic lifelines and to preserve or restore the security of NATO nations. On March 15, 2004, the command, Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), originally formed in 1951 was re-designated as JFC-Naples. Allied Forces Southern Europe was one of two major NATO commands in the Mediterranean area, the other being Allied Forces Mediterranean at the island of Malta, responsible for naval activities in the region.
However, Allied Forces Mediterranean was disbanded on 5 June 1967, and all forces in the south and the Mediterranean were assigned to AFSOUTH. 1967 onwards, the AFSOUTH did not change drastically until the command was renamed in 2004. Due to political reasons, command of the naval forces in the region was split. Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe, at Naples, operated most of the NATO allies’ naval forces in the Mediterranean under an Italian admiral. It was the Prague Summit of 2002 that initiated the reorganization of AFSOUTH as JFC Naples in 2004 as a part of NATO’s transformation. It aimed at adapting the allied military structure to the operational challenges of coalition warfare, to face the new millennium’s new threats. The new NATO Command Structure is leaner, more flexible, and focused on conducting a much wider range of missions.
JFC-Naples has three main current operations. NATO has been leading a peace support operation in Kosovo since June 1999 in order to support the wider international efforts to build peace and stability in the area. One of JFK- Naples current mission is the Kosovo Force. Under 6,000 troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), provided by 29 Troop Contributing Nations, are deployed in Kosovo to assist in the maintenance of safety and security and freedom of movement for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin. Another Operation, Active Endeavour is NATO’s only anti-terrorism Article 5 operation in order to support the United States post 9/11. It thus displays NATO’s mighty resolve against terrorism and its endeavour to detect and deter terrorist activity in the Mediterranean. NATO forces have hailed over 100,000 merchant vessels and boarded some 155 suspect ships. By conducting these maritime operations against terrorist activity, NATO’s presence has benefited all shipping travelling through the Straits by improving perceptions of security. NATO is helping to keep seas safe, protect shipping and control suspect vessels. Moreover, this operation also strengthens NATO’s relations with partner countries, especially those participating in the Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue. Keeping the Mediterranean’s busy trade routes open and safe is critical to NATO’s security. Since June 2005, NATO has provided a wide array of support to the African Union (AU). NATO aims to support, within its means and capabilities, the AU to build up its security architecture in accordance with AU requirements. Also, NATO has taken the ownership of a new site in Lago Patria in May 2012, which promises JFCNP to skyrocket its achievements in the future by providing a bold and technologically savvy home for one of NATO’s most visible commands.
NATO’s Allied Land Command, Izmir, Turkey
by: Vimbai Midzi
The city of Izmir, one of the oldest settlements in Turkey, has recently become the site of the NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) Headquarters. With Turkey being strategically positioned, NATO’s hopes are that the base will use the rich history of conflict management and resolution in the region to its advantage.
The two Force Commands in Germany and Spain were shut down in November 2012 to make way for LANDCOM in Turkey. The move was part of a restructuring venture that NATO has taken on, reducing administration costs for an organisation whose combined military spending is 70% of the world’s defence spending. This organ of NATO is designed to lead in military training, readiness for conflict and leading land operations for NATO troops.
“Izmir has been the junction of cultures for centuries...Ultimately, NATO is a bridge connecting 28 countries in the alliance. Therefore, I believe the Land Command being in Izmir has a symbolic meaning,” said NATO Supreme Allied Commander, James Stavridis. The move from the Heidelberg headquarters to Izmir marks the end of 61 years of NATO land forces fighting from Germany in places such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Libya. The placing of LANDCOM in Turkey is said to be a deliberate move, considering Turkey’s large military involvement in NATO and its geographical position in the region. With the decades of military prowess and tactical experience, NATO’s land force will most likely draw on Turkey’s experience both as a state in a relatively turbulent region, and a member of NATO.
Turkey’s involvement in NATO This year marks Turkey’s 61st year as part of the NATO organisation. The country has been instrumental in providing personnel to NATO and in being the second largest military personnel contributor, just behind the United States. With over 3000 troops, the Turks have also been heavily committed to the fight against terrorist activities in the Mediterranean region. A transcontinental country, Turkey serves as a link between Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Apart from simply offering military assistance to NATO, Turkey agreed to be part of the Missile Defence System that NATO put into practice in 2010. The
position of the missiles in the city of Malatya is key in deterring an attack from neighbouring Iran on any of the NATO member states. With a track record of a heavy involvement in Libya, Turkey’s LANDCOM base is seen as an important player in resolving the conflict and instability in the North African and Middle Eastern regions. Turkey’s predominantly Muslim population alongside it’s support in NATO is often used as an example by the West of a Muslim nation that has broken down the barrier of religion to benefit economically and politically from ties with the West.
Although the position of LANDCOM works in extremely well for NATO plans, Turkey’s commitment to NATO has been criticised by its neighbour Syria. Turkey’s loyalty to NATO has resulted in its definite stance against Syria’s government, and means that Syria has been boxed in by Turkey and Israel. Missiles on the Turkey-Syrian border have already been deployed by NATO – a measure that will either heighten tensions between the two countries or effectively deter any action Syria may want to take against its neighbour. The strength of Turkey lies in its ability to support NATO militarily, its strategic position geographically, and its ability to have diplomatic relations with the countries surrounding it. The LANDCOM base in Izmir is therefore in an advantageous position, carrying both the loyalty of the host state to NATO policies, as well as the fairly amicable relations the country has with other states that are said to be hostile towards the West.
Allied Air Command, Ramstein, Germany by: Alejandra Morales
During almost 4 decades, the Ramstein Air Base, located in the rural district of Kaiserslautern, Germany, has witnessed how Headquarters Allied Air Command – commonly known as HQ AIRCOM, has been delivering Air Power for the Alliance. Its role has much evolved since 1974, as transformation within NATO has taken place, and its responsibility has skyrocketed. Formerly in charge of air-related matters only north of the Alps, AIRCOM is currently leading all Air activities from northern Norway to southern Italy and from the Azores to eastern Turkey.
Under the precept of Article 5 –as many know, the bond between Allies to defend one another from attack, AIRCOM works to develop capabilities in order to conduct potential missions. For such a purpose, the Air side of the Alliance keeps an eye on a wide range of areas, though especially on Collective Defence, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security. A multitasking background As it was slightly foreseen in 1949, a great part of the activities carried out by the Alliance have been devoted to build on preparedness. As much as the ‘NATO beyond 2020’ issue has been discussed, military decision makers have been eager to promote and boost the development of new trainings with NATO and non-NATO member states. Air-related matters have not been the exception, but yet another achievement of NATO activities. Indeed, in late May this year, Forward Air Controllers (FACs) from Latvia, Lithuania and Poland cooperated with Allied fighters and helicopters from France, Estonia and Latvia and to train their skills in coordinating airborne missions in support of ground forces in fictitious scenarios at Adazi Training Area. So much success has been achieved with these so-called Baltic Region Training Events, that the Alliance is already preparing the sixteenth.
One cannot forget to mention another key and over-riding primacy goal, which is the delivery of success on current Alliance operations. AIRCOM has provided KFOR (Kosovo) and EUFOR (BiH) as well as Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in the Mediterranean with Air Support.
It has certainly been the same case regarding and ISAF in Afghanistan through staff assistance visits reach-back support and filling Air-related CE positions. Indeed, last March Afghan Air Force members along with air advisers from NATO achieved a major milestone in their Combined Strategic Flight Plan with the first combined training exercise of multiple aircraft and capabilities. As described by all of the members involved, “this was truly a defining moment for the AAF.” But focus areas for the Allied Air Command, have a changeable nature, as new challenges always arise. At the 2012 Chicago Summit, NATO Heads of State and Governments declared an Interim NATO Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability. AIRCOM will continue to enhance this capability by further development of the underpinning policy, procedures, processes, doctrine, and infrastructure and personnel competency to plan and execute its role in NATO BMD effectively.
Torrejon and Uedem, Ramsteim’s support Ramsteim doesn’t walk alone. Activities addressed also came to pass thanks to the support of a Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) in Poggio Renatico, Italy, as well as 2 Combined Air Operations Centers (CAOC). The first CAOC is located in Torrejon, a tiny village pertaining to the Spanish capital, but where one appreciates a major Spanish Air Force base. The staff, which is being covered gradually, consists of 185 soldiers, of whom 44 are Spanish and 141 from 15 other NATO countries. A long list of successful stories has been noted in Uedem, Germany, which is the second CAOC. As the former, it plans, directs, task coordinates, supervises, assesses and reports on air operations of all allocated assets in peacetime, crisis and conflict in both static and deployed environments. This small city in North Rhine-Westphalia saw the NATO’s first ever theatre ballistic missile defence (TBMD) capability in 2011 which, as mentioned before, has been key discussion for NATO decision makers at the 2012 Chicago Summit.
Joint Warfare Centre, Stavanger, Norway
by: Lukas Rapp
History The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) is a NATO base in Stavanger, Norway. It was founded on 23rd October 2003 and is used as a base for training and exercise. The first NATO building was set up in 1951, Norway has a proud history and Stavanger is a NATO host since 1994. The main objectives of the JWC were described in the NATO Military Committee document, MC 324/1 and are: - Training and Education - Joint and Combined Concept Development, Experimentation, Assessment and Doctrine.
Mission and Activities The JWC´s main focus is the training for full spectrum joint operational level warfare. This main mission is organized by different strategies, like providing key leader training capability and providing operational level joint training in support of ongoing operations. The main activities, as mentioned, are the trainings and exercises, but in April 2013 the JWC conducted the first Warfare Conference, from 23-24th. It marked the tenth anniversary of the JWC as well as the Conference topic, “Warfare founded on common doctrine, the baseline for transformation”. JWC is the premier training establishment of the NATO Alliance. The headquarter in Stavanger offers the best training support possible and plays a main role in the training for ISAF duty, but also for other structures of NATO. But not only known areas are trained in Norway, also new possibilities are offered, like Cyber Defence, Knowledge Development and Comprehensive Approach.
Commander Major General Jean Fred Berger from the French Army is the leading commander of the JWC since June 2011. He was born on 25 December 1957 and started his military career at the Saint Cyr Coetquidan Military Academy in 1978. He was Auditor at the French Centre for Advanced Military Studies and became after the Head of the Office for General Studies, Plans and Policies.
Community The Chief Community Support Branch, Gordon Ramsay, was asked in an interview about the connection to the community. The main focal point is “high impact” activities, which means that events are planned with a high number of individuals to participate. They try to be family friendly, that the whole family joins the event. Main attractions are bus and boat trips and an “Information Day BBQ”.
Joint Analysis Lessons Learned, Lisbon, Portugal
by: Lukas Rapp
History Back in 1997 the NATO Military Committee (MC) approved the operational requirement for the JALLC. It was activated in 2002 as a NATO Military Body and formally opened on 6 December 2002, but still needed almost 4 years to declare their full operational capability.
Activities and Media Besides producing handbooks, in 2012 the Lessons Learned Conference was held for 3 days in October. Attracted by the theme, “Learning from the Past – Preparing for the Future”, more than 220 representatives from 32 NATO and Partner Nations attended the meeting in Lisbon. The JALLC in Lisbon has carried out a wide range of projects and analysis for the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and is beside Stavanger (JWC) and The Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgosczc the third member of the ACT. Talking about the projects, the JALLC has conducted and supported different analysis task within different activities, e.g. all HQ ISAF or NATO operations. As the base in Portugal is a research project, they release a wide variety of articles and handbooks which are available for public on their homepage. Not only military relevant topics, but also the evaluation of the impact of NATO´s Public Diplomacy is covered.
Community In contrast to the base in Stavanger the NATO JALLC in Lisbon has no information about the community or special activities in informing. Mission and Vision The JALLC is the leading NATO base for joint analysis of different operations as well as compilation of exercises and concepts. Therefore, it is necessary to abide the Lessons Learned Database (LLDB). As it is seen as the leading representative for joint analysis they are heading to improve the alliances.
Allied Maritime Command, Northwood, UK
by: Vincent Piredda
20 km North-West away from London, in Northwood, is settled the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). It’s the « one stop shop » for all maritime affairs in North Atlantic Alliance. Around 300 persons from 22 different NATO countries work here under British Vice Admiral Peter Hudson’s command since the beginning of 2013. He is the prime maritime advisor of the Alliance and a former officer in Royal Navy. He was mobilized 7 months in the Falklands Islands in 1994 commanding the HMS Norfolk.
Northwood is a former Royal Air Force base. It was the RAF Coastal Command until 1969. NATO was established there in 1953, just 4 years after the creation of the Alliance. With time, a lot of NATO’s maritime functions moved to Northwood such as Channel Command in 1966 or Flag Officer Submarines in 1978. In 2004, it became Allied Maritime Component Command in Naples. Maritime exercises and operation commands were shared between the two bases. After Lisbon Summit in November 2010’s, NATO decided to merge Naples and Northwood in becoming MARCOM based in Northwood. It was the largest reform in the Alliance since the end of the Cold War. The amount of major headquarters decreased from 11 to 6 and Naples was deactivated in March 2013. Northwood’s MARCOM answers directly to Allied Command Operations (ACO) in Mons, Belgium. It plans and conducts all NATO maritime operations. Based in Northwood, the Maritime Operation Centre assures 24/7 command and control for NATO maritime operations. Also in Northwood, the NATO Shipping Centre stays in constant dialogue with the shipping industry in order to warn merchant vessels in case of a potential or real threat in one of NATO’s areas of operation. MARCOM is leading the headquarters for all organizations and conducts naval exercise in the Alliance. Major exercises take place here, whether they are only naval or joint (involving land or air unit).
These operations involve 4 Standing Maritime Groups of warships. They are placed by the different member-countries, under NATO command and control for 6 months. They compose the NATO Response Force. Currently there are 12 ships in these 4 groups, « Standing NATO Maritime Group 1&2 » and « Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1&2 ».
MARCOM also commands two joint units: NATO Maritime Air Command (COMMARAIR) and NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO).
The COMMARAIR prepares, employs and commands all maritime aircrafts which are deployed during MARCOM’s operations, from exercises to large scale maritime operations. This division supports MARCOM in case of maritime air intervention is needed and can be augmented with staff members and specialists from other HQ. The COMSUBNATO is fully integrated in MARCOM. It provides submarine expertise and advice in support of NATO operations and exercises. COMSUBNATO is responsible for planning, coordinating and conducting all NATO submarine operations and exercises. There are two current operations in which MARCOM is involved. The first one is the Operation Ocean Shield. This mission started in 2008 to counter piracy in Gulf of Aden and near Horn of Africa. There, the NATO warships are escorting merchant vessels, in collaboration with United Nations’ Security Council. In 2012, Northern Atlantic Council decided to extend the operation to the end of 2014. The second operation is the Operation Active Endeavour for which NATO ships are patrolling in Mediterranean Sea to fight against maritime terrorism. This operation started just after the 9/11. It was at first conducted by Naples’ Joint Force Command, and since 22nd of February, MARCOM is in command.
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