The following nations
are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, United Kingdom,
United States. (28)
Countries underlined are also members of the European Union.
In 1993, NATO was reorganised from three into two major Commands
with a further reorganisation of these two commands in 2003. The
first is ACT (Allied Command Transformation) with headquarters at
Norfolk, Virginia (USA) and the second is ACO (Allied Command
Operations), with its headquarters at Mons in Belgium.
The current Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is Admiral
Stavridis. SACEUR, (a US officer) is responsible for the overall
command of NATO military operations and conducts the necessary
military operational planning, including the identification of
forces required for the mission and requesting these forces from
NATO countries, as authorised by the North Atlantic Council and as
directed by NATO's Military Committee. Admiral Stavridis was
appointed in June 2009.
ALLIED COMMAND TRANSFORMATION (ACT)
In the future, Allied Command Transformation, with its headquarters
in Norfolk, US, will oversee the transformation of NATO's military
capabilities. In doing so, it will enhance training, improve
capabilities, test and develop doctrines and conduct experiments to
assess new concepts. It will also facilitate the dissemination and
introduction of new concepts and promote interoperability. There
will be an ACT Staff Element in Belgium primarily for resource and
defence planning issues.
ACT commands the Joint Warfare Centre in Norway, a Joint Force
Training Centre in Poland and the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned
Centre in Portugal. ACT Headquarters also supervises the Undersea
Research Centre in La Spezia, Italy and the NATO School at
Oberammergau in Germany. There are direct linkages between ACT,
Alliance schools and NATO agencies, as well as the US Joint Forces
Command. In addition, a number of nationally or multinationally-sponsored
Centres of Excellence are focused on transformation in specific
military fields who support ACT.
ALLIED COMMAND OPERATIONS (ACO)
Allied Command Operations, with its headquarters, SHAPE, near Mons,
Belgium, is responsible for all NATO operations. The levels beneath
SHAPE have been significantly streamlined, with a reduction in the
number of headquarters.
The operational level consists of two standing Joint Force Commands
(JFCs) one in Brunssum, the Netherlands, and one in Naples, Italy -
which can conduct operations from their static locations or provide
a land-based Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) headquarters, and a
robust but more limited standing Joint Headquarters (JHQ), in
Lisbon, Portugal, from which a deployable sea-based CJTF HQ
capability can be drawn. The current organisation of Allied Command
Operations is as follows:
HEADQUARTERS AT THE TACTICAL LEVEL
The component or tactical level consists of six Joint Force
Component Commands (JFCCs), which provide service-specific land,
maritime, or air expertise to the operational level.
Although these component commands will be available for use in any
operation, they will be subordinated to one of the Joint Force
Command - Brunssum
Command - Naples
AIR OPERATIONS CENTRES (CAOC)
In addition to the above component commands there will be four
static Combined Air Operations Centres with two more deployable as
As the deployable CAOCs will need to exercise their capability to
mobilise and deploy, the current facilities at Torrejon Air Base in
Spain will probably be the primary site for training and exercising
in that region. A small NATO air facility support staff would be
stationed at Torrejon to support this capability.
Deployable Immediate Reaction Forces (IRF) available:
Immediate Reaction Forces (Maritime) - There are four
Maritime Immediate Reaction Forces that provide NATO with a
continuous naval presence and can be deployed NATO-wide, when
ACE (Allied Command Europe) Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) - The
ARRC is prepared for deployment throughout Allied Command Europe in
order to augment or reinforce local forces whenever necessary. The
Headquarters of the ARRC is located at Innsworth (near Gloucester)
in the UK.
Eurocorps HQ – Based around Strasbourg in France
Reaction Forces (Air) Staff – With headquarters at Kalkar in
ACE Mobile Force (AMF) – With headquarters at Heidelberg in
Deployable National Corps – These deployable corps are
available with headquarters provided by Italy, Turkey,
Germany/Netherlands, Spain and Greece.
NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) - The NATO Airborne
Early Warning Force provides air surveillance and command and
control for all NATO commands. It is based in Geilenkirchen,
Germany, and Waddington, United Kingdom.
NATO Programming Centre (NPC) - The NATO Programming Centre
maintains NATO Air Command and Control Software and provides system
expertise to nations and NATO agencies and headquarters. It is
located in Glons, Belgium.