The Committee meets at least once a week in formal or informal sessions to discuss, deliberate and act on matters of military importance. These meetings follow closely those of the North Atlantic Council, so that the Committee may follow up promptly on Council decisions.
In practice, meetings are convened whenever necessary and both the Council and the Military Committee normally meet much more frequently than once a week. As a result of the Alliance's role for instance in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Mediterranean and off the Horn of Africa, as well as its supporting role in relation to Iraq, the need for the Council and Military Committee to meet more frequently to discuss operational matters has greatly increased.
The work of the Military Committee is supported by the International Military Staff (IMS), which effectively acts as its executive body. The IMS is responsible for preparing assessments, studies and other papers on NATO military matters and ensures that decisions and policies on military matters are implemented by the appropriate NATO military bodies.
Like the political decision-making bodies, it also meets regularly at its highest level, namely at the level of Chiefs of Defence (CHODs).
Meetings at this level are normally held three times a year. Two of these meetings occur in Brussels and one in the form of an informal Military Committee Conference is hosted by a NATO member country, on a rotational basis.
Cooperation with partners
In the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Partnership for Peace programme, the Military Committee meets regularly with partner countries at the level of national Military Representatives (once a month) and at the level of Chiefs of Defence (twice a year) to deal with military cooperation issues. The Military Committee also meets in different formats in the framework of the NATO- Russia Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission, the NATO-Georgia Commission, and with the CHODs of the seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries.