NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Active Endeavour, Operation
    Operation Active Endeavour Under Operation Active Endeavour, NATO ships are patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorist activity. The operation evolved out of NATO’s immediate response to the terrorist attacks against the United States of 11 September 2001 and, in view of its success, is being continued. As the Alliance has refined its counter-terrorism role over the years, the operation’s remit has been extended and its mandate regularly reviewed. In addition to tracking and controlling suspect vessels to keep the seas safe, it now aims to build a picture of maritime activity in the Mediterranean. To do this, the ships conduct routine information approaches to various vessels in order to reassure and inform mariners on the efforts to keep the maritime community safe. The experience that NATO has accrued in Active Endeavour has given the Alliance unparalleled expertise in the deterrence of maritime terrorist activity in the Mediterranean Sea. This expertise is relevant to wider international efforts to combat terrorism and, in particular, the proliferation and smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, as well as enhanced cooperation with non-NATO countries and civilian agencies. The aim of the operation and its current functions Operation Active Endeavour is NATO’s only Article 5 operation on anti-terrorism. It was initiated in support of the United States immediately after 9/11. It aims to demonstrate NATO's solidarity and resolve in the fight against terrorism and to help deter and disrupt terrorist activity in the Mediterranean. NATO forces have hailed over 122,000 merchant vessels and boarded some 166 suspect ships. By conducting these maritime operations against terrorist activity, NATO’s presence in these waters has benefited all shipping travelling through the Straits of Gibraltar by improving perceptions of security. NATO is helping to keep seas safe, protect shipping and control suspect vessels. Moreover, this operation is also enabling NATO to strengthen its relations with partner countries, especially those participating in the Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue. Keeping seas safe and protecting shipping Keeping the Mediterranean’s busy trade routes open and safe is critical to NATO’s security. In terms of energy alone, some 65 per cent of the oil and natural gas consumed in Western Europe pass through the Mediterranean each year, with major pipelines connecting Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain. For this reason, NATO ships are systematically carrying out preparatory route surveys in “choke” points as well as in important passages and harbours throughout the Mediterranean. Tracking and controlling suspect vessels Since April 2003, NATO has been systematically boarding suspect ships. These boardings take place with the compliance of the ships’ masters and flag states in accordance with international law. What happens in practice is that merchant ships passing through the eastern Mediterranean are hailed by patrolling NATO naval units and asked to identify themselves and their activity. This information is then reported to NATO’s Maritime Commander in Northwood, the United Kingdom. If anything appears unusual or suspicious, teams of between 15 and 20 of the ships’ crew may board vessels to inspect documentation and cargo. Compliant boarding can only be conducted with the consent of the flag state and/or the ship’s master. NATO personnel may otherwise convey this information to the appropriate law enforcement agency at the vessel’s next port of call. The suspect vessel is then shadowed until action is taken by a responsible agency/authority, or until it enters a country’s territorial waters. Unexpected benefits While the mandate of Active Endeavour is limited to deterring, defending, disrupting and protecting against terrorist-related activity, the operation has had a visible effect on security and stability in the Mediterranean that is beneficial to trade and economic activity. NATO ships and helicopters have also intervened on several occasions to rescue civilians on stricken oil rigs and sinking ships, saving the lives of several hundred people over time. Operation Active Endeavour provided the framework for the maritime component of NATO’s assistance to the Greek government to ensure the safe conduct of the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games in August and September 2004. Task Force Endeavour conducted surveillance, presence and compliant boarding operations in international waters around the Greek peninsula with Standing Naval Forces surface ships, supported by maritime patrol aircraft and submarines and in coordination with the Hellenic Navy and Coast Guard. Closer cooperation with partners The increased NATO presence in the Mediterranean has also enhanced the Alliance’s security cooperation programme with seven countries in the wider Mediterranean region – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. This programme - the Mediterranean Dialogue - was set up in 1994 to contribute to regional security and stability and to achieve better mutual understanding between NATO and its Mediterranean Partners. Mediterranean Dialogue countries are equally concerned by the threat of terrorism and have already been cooperating with NATO in Active Endeavour by providing intelligence about suspicious shipping operating in their waters. Enhanced coordination and cooperation mechanisms are currently being developed. Command and structure of the operation The operation is under the overall command of, and is conducted from, Maritime Command Headquarters, Northwood (United Kingdom) through a task force deployed in the Mediterranean. Task Force Endeavour consists of a balanced collection of surface units, submarines and maritime patrol aircraft. The operation also regularly makes use of NATO’s two high-readiness frigate forces, which are permanently ready to act and capable of conducting a wide range of maritime operations. The current operational pattern uses surface forces as reaction units to conduct specific tasks such as locating, tracking, reporting and boarding of suspected vessels in the light of intelligence. The NATO Standing Naval Forces rotate in providing periodic support to Operation Active Endeavour either through “surges” (when an entire force participates) or through individual units being put on call when the operation has no regularly assigned forces. Evolution An Article 5 deployment The deployment was one of eight measures taken by NATO to support the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, following the invocation of Article 5, NATO’s collective defence clause, for the first time in the Alliance’s history. The deployment started on 6 October and was formally named Operation Active Endeavour on 26 October 2001. Together with the dispatch of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to the United States, it was the first time that NATO assets had been deployed in support of an Article 5 operation. Since October 2001, NATO ships have been patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping, boarding any suspect ships. Compliant boarding operations are essential to the successful continuation of the operation. They are limited to trying to establish whether a vessel is engaged in terrorist activity. Moreover, in March 2003, Active Endeavour was expanded to provide escorts through the Straits of Gibraltar to non-military ships from Alliance member states requesting them. This extension of the mission was designed to help prevent terrorist attacks such as those off Yemen on the USS Cole in October 2000 and on the French oil tanker Limburg two years later. The area was considered particularly vulnerable because the Straits are extremely narrow and some 3,000 commercial shipments pass through daily. In total, 488 ships took advantage of NATO escorts until Task Force STROG (Straits of Gibraltar) was suspended in May 2004. Forces remain ready to move at 30-days notice. Covering the entire Mediterranean One year later, in March 2004, as a result of the success of Active Endeavour in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO extended its remit to the whole of the Mediterranean. At the June 2004 Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders decided to enhance Operation Active Endeavour (OAE). They also welcomed offers by Russia and Ukraine to support the operation. An evolving operation In the revised Concept of Operations approved by the North Atlantic Council on 23 April 2009, the Military Committee highlighted two considerations: the need to further enhance information-sharing between NATO and other actors in the region; the fact that in some cases, the operation is hampered by the lack of consent to conduct compliant boarding of suspect vessels. In addition, the Operational Plan approved in January 2010, is shifting Operation Active Endeavour from a platform-based to a network-based operation, using a combination of on-call units and surge operations instead of deployed forces; it is also seeking to enhance cooperation with non-NATO countries and international organisations in order to improve Maritime Situational Awareness. All options for future changes in the Operation’s mandate are considered on the basis of the Alliance Maritime Strategy, adopted in January 2011. Operation Active Endeavour is fulfilling the four roles outlined in this strategy: deterrence and collective defence; crisis management; cooperative security; and maritime security. In February 2013, as a result of the reform of the military command structure initiated in 2011, the operation changed command. Initially, OAE was under the overall command of Joint Forces Command (JFC), Naples, and was conducted from the Allied Maritime Component Command Naples, Italy (CC-Mar Naples). From 22 February 2013, it came under the command of, and is conducted by, Maritime Command Headquarters, Northwood (United Kingdom). Contributing countries Being an Article 5 operation, Operation Active Endeavour initially involved member countries only. Some NATO members, mainly Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey contribute directly to the operation with naval assets. Escort operations in the Straits of Gibraltar used to involve the use of fast patrol boats from northern European Allies Denmark, Germany and Norway. Spain also provides additional assets in the Straits. Operation Active Endeavour relies heavily on the logistic support of Mediterranean NATO Allies. From 2004, partner and non-NATO countries started offering their support. All offers are considered on a case-by-case basis. To date, Exchanges of Letters have been signed between NATO and Israel, Morocco, Russia and Ukraine. In addition, Finland and Sweden have informally expressed their interest in contributing to the operation. Georgia has sent a liaison officer to Naples following the signing of a tactical Memorandum of Understanding with NATO in 2010 on the exchange of information. Russia deployed vessels twice, in 2006 and 2007, and Ukraine a total of six times since 2007.
  • Afghanistan, ISAF's Mission in -
    ISAF's Mission in Afghanistan NATO’s primary objective in Afghanistan is to enable the Afghan government to provide effective security across the country and develop new Afghan security forces to ensure Afghanistan can never again become a safe haven for terrorists. The 48 nations which make up the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the conduct of security operations throughout the country. Since 2011, responsibility for security has gradually been transitioned to the Afghans and ISAF’s mission has shifted from a combat-centric role to a more enabling role focusing on training, advising and assisting. The launch of the final stage of the transition process in June 2013 means that Afghan forces are taking the lead for security across the whole country. ISAF’s priorities In support of the Afghan government, ISAF is helping the ANSF to reduce the capability and the will of the insurgency as well as promoting the growth in capacity and capability of the ANSF. ISAF is also helping to create the space and lay the foundations for improvements in governance and socio-economic development to provide a secure environment for sustainable stability. ISAF provides support to the government and international community in security sector reform, including mentoring, training and operational support to the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP). The aim is to build professional, independent and sustainable ANA and ANP forces that are able to provide security and law enforcement to the Afghan people throughout the country. This work is carried out jointly by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) and ISAF’s Joint Command (IJC), together with the European Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) and other important national actors. NTM-A focuses on training initial recruits and building the institutional training capability of the ANSF, while the IJC is responsible for developing fielded ANSF units through advice and assistance. ISAF has also contributed to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan through multinational Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) - led by individual ISAF nations - securing areas in which reconstruction work is conducted by national and international actors. Where appropriate – and in close coordination and cooperation with the Afghan government and the United Nations Assistance Mission Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) – ISAF has provided practical support for reconstruction and development efforts as well as support for humanitarian assistance efforts conducted by other actors. Through the PRTs, ISAF has also helped the Afghan authorities strengthen the institutions required to fully establish good governance and the rule of law as well as to promote human rights. The principal role of the PRTs in this respect is to build capacity, support the growth of governance structures and promote an environment in which governance can improve. By the time transition to Afghan lead for security is completed at the end of 2014, all PRTs will have been phased out and their functions handed over to the Afghan government, traditional development actors, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. ISAF Mission Evolution Transition to Afghan lead for security started in July 2011 and is well underway. The ANSF are growing stronger and more capable. As a result, ISAF’s role has changed from leading operations to enabling the Afghan security forces to conduct independent operations themselves. This means that ISAF’s mission has evolved from one focused primarily on combat to an enabling Security Force Assistance (SFA) role, which centres on training, advising and assisting its Afghan partners. The aim of this evolution is to ensure that ISAF continues to support the development of ANSF operational effectiveness, so that they are able to fully assume their security responsibilities by the completion of the transition to full Afghan security responsibility at the end of 2014. As ANSF progress towards that goal, the ISAF forces are gradually stepping back and starting to redeploy back to their home countries. This drawdown is taking place in a coordinated, measured and gradual way in line with the ANSF’s capacity to manage the security situation. An important milestone was reached on 18 June 2013, when the fifth and last tranche of transition areas was announced by the Afghan government. With that, the ANSF will take the lead for security across the country and ISAF will complete its shift from a combat to a support role. This is a critical step in the transition towards full Afghan security responsibility by end 2014, which was agreed with the Afghan government at the NATO Summit in Lisbon in 2010 and reaffirmed at the NATO Summit in Chicago in 2012. (More on ISAF mission evolution) ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan will cease at the end of 2014. However, as agreed by Allied leaders and their ISAF partners with the Afghan government at the Chicago Summit in May 2012, NATO will lead a new mission to continue training, advising and assisting the Afghan national security forces after 2014. The post-2014 mission will be called “Resolute Support” and will not be a combat mission. It will be smaller in size and will focus on national and institutional-level training and the higher levels of army and police commands across Afghanistan. ISAF's mandate The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been deployed since 2001 under the authority of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which authorised the establishment of the force to assist the Afghan government in the maintenance of security in Kabul and its surrounding areas – in particular to enable the Afghan authorities as well as UN personnel to operate in a secure environment. At that time, the operation was limited to the Kabul area, and its command was assumed by ISAF nations on a rotational basis. In August 2003, upon request of the UN and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, NATO took command of ISAF. Soon after, the UN mandated ISAF’s gradual expansion outside of Kabul. While not technically a UN force, ISAF is a UN-mandated international force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Fifteen UN Security Council Resolutions relate to ISAF, namely: 1386, 1413, 1444, 1510, 1563, 1623, 1707, 1776, 1817, 1833, 1890, 1917, 1943, 2011 and 2069. A detailed Military Technical Agreement agreed between the ISAF Commander and the Afghan Transitional Authority in January 2002 provides additional guidance for ISAF operations. History of ISAF Origin of ISAF ISAF was created in accordance with the Bonn Conference in December 2001. Afghan opposition leaders attending the conference began the process of reconstructing their country by setting up a new government structure, namely the Afghan Transitional Authority. The concept of a UN-mandated international force to assist the newly established Afghan Transitional Authority was also launched  this occasion to create a secure environment in and around Kabul and support the reconstruction of Afghanistan. These agreements paved the way for the creation of a three-way partnership between the Afghan Transitional Authority, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and ISAF. NATO takes on ISAF command On 11 August 2003, NATO assumed leadership of the ISAF operation, bringing the six-month national rotations to an end. The Alliance became responsible for the command, coordination and planning of the force, including the provision of a force commander and headquarters on the ground in Afghanistan. This new leadership overcame the problem of a continual search to find new nations to lead the mission and the difficulties of setting up a new headquarters every six months in a complex environment. A continuing NATO Headquarters also enables small countries, less able to take over leadership responsibility, to play a strong role within a multinational headquarters. Expansion of ISAF’s presence in Afghanistan ISAF’s mandate was initially limited to providing security in and around Kabul. In October 2003, the United Nations extended ISAF’s mandate to cover the whole of Afghanistan  ( UNSCR 1510 ), paving the way for an expansion of the mission across the country. Stage 1: to the north In December 2003, the North Atlantic Council authorised the then Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General James Jones, to initiate the expansion of ISAF by taking over command of the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz. The other eight PRTs operating in Afghanistan in 2003 remained under the command of Operation Enduring Freedom, the continuing US-led military operation in Afghanistan. On 31 December 2003, the military component of the Kunduz PRT was placed under ISAF command as a pilot project and first step in the expansion of the mission. Six months later, on 28 June 2004, at the Summit meeting of the NATO Heads of State and Government in Istanbul, NATO announced that it would establish four other Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the north of the country: in Mazar-e-Sharif, Meymanah, Feyzabad and Baghlan. This process was completed on 1 October 2004, marking the completion of the first phase of ISAF’s expansion. ISAF’s area of operations then covered some 3,600 square kilometres in the north and the mission was able to influence security in nine northern provinces of the country. Stage 2: to the west On 10 February 2005, NATO announced that ISAF would be further expanded, into the west of Afghanistan. This process began on 31 May 2006, when ISAF took on command of two additional PRTs, in the provinces of Herat and Farah and of a Forward Support Base (a logistic base) in Herat. At the beginning of September, two further ISAF-led PRTs in the west became operational, one in Chaghcharan, capital of Ghor Province, and one in Qala-e-Naw, capital of Badghis province, completing ISAF’s expansion into the west. The extended ISAF mission led a total of nine PRTs, in the north and the west, providing security assistance in 50% of Afghanistan’s territory. The Alliance continued to make preparations to further expand ISAF, to the south of the country. In September 2005, the Alliance also temporarily deployed 2,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to support the 18 September provincial and parliamentary elections. Stage 3: to the south On 8 December 2005, meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, the Allied Foreign Ministers endorsed a plan that paved the way for an expanded ISAF role and presence in Afghanistan. The first element of this plan was the expansion of ISAF to the south in 2006, also known as Stage 3. This was implemented on 31 July 2006, when ISAF assumed command of the southern region of Afghanistan from US-led Coalition forces, expanding its area of operations to cover an additional six provinces – Daikundi, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul – and taking on command of four additional PRTs. The expanded ISAF led a total of 13 PRTs in the north, west and south, covering some three-quarters of Afghanistan’s territory. The number of ISAF forces in the country also increased significantly, from about 10,000 prior to the expansion to about 20,000 after. Stage 4: ISAF expands to the east, takes responsibility for entire country On 5 October 2006, ISAF implemented the final stage of its expansion, by taking on command of the international military forces in eastern Afghanistan from the US-led Coalition. In addition to expanding the Alliance’s area of operations, the revised operational plan also paved the way for a greater ISAF role in the country. This includes the deployment of ISAF training and mentoring teams to Afghan National Army units at various levels of command.
  • Afghanistan, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in -
    NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, liaising with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighbouring countries. He represents the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. Who is currently holding this function? Ambassador Maurits R. Jochems from the Netherlands took office as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan on 10 October 2012. What is his or her authority, tasks and responsibilities? Working closely with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Senior Civilian Representative provides a direct channel of communication between the theatre, NATO HQ in Brussels, and the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance's principal decision-making body.  He provides the Council with advice on the most effective means of ensuring the overall coherence of the Alliance’s relations with Afghanistan, which includes responsibilities related to upholding NATO’s public perception. He liaises with senior members of the Afghan Government and co-ordinates with representatives of the international community and other international organisations engaged in Afghanistan, in particular the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the European Union. The Representative also maintains contacts with representatives of neighbouring countries, as well as with various political actors, representatives of Afghan civil society and representatives of international NGOs. How is he or she selected and for how long? The Representative is appointed by the NATO Secretary General on an ad-hoc basis.  His mandate is limited in time and renewable in light of political developments in Afghanistan. How did it evolve? NATO created the position of a Senior Civilian Representative in October 2003, to represent the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul.
  • Afghanistan and NATO
    NATO and Afghanistan
  • African Standby Force, Contributing to the establishment of an -
    Contributing to the establishment of an African Standby Force Fore more information on go to NATO's assistance to the African Union Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on:
  • African Union (AU), NATO assistance to the -
    NATO assistance to the African Union Since 2005, at the request of the African Union (AU), NATO has been providing different forms of support to the AU. The AU is a regional organisation which brings together 54 African member states. It was established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2002 and requested NATO support as early as 2005 for the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in the province of Darfur. This was the Alliance’s first mission on the African continent and as such represented a landmark decision by the North Atlantic Council (NAC). It was terminated on 31 December 2007 when AMIS was completed and succeeded (on 1 January 2008) by the UN-AU hybrid mission in Darfur (UNAMID). NATO has since been assisting the AU with other missions and objectives. These include support to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing planning and strategic air- and sealift, and assistance to the AU in developing long-term peacekeeping capabilities, in particular the African Standby Force (ASF) brigades. To ensure maximum synergy, effectiveness and transparency, NATO's assistance is coordinated closely with other international organisations – principally the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) – as well as with bilateral partners. Through this increased assistance, the Alliance and the AU are deepening collaboration and developing a long-term relationship, which is constantly evolving, as illustrated by the repeated AU requests for NATO assistance in a wide range of areas. Assisting the African Union in Somalia Since 2007, NATO has accepted to assist the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing strategic airlift and sealift support to AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM. NATO has, for instance, put into practice airlift support from Burundi to Mogadishu and has escorted an AU ship that carried Burundian military equipment for one of the battalions that it had airlifted into Mogadishu. NATO has also been providing subject-matter experts for the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the AU that supports AMISOM. These experts offer expertise in specific areas for a period of six months, renewable at the AU’s request. In addition to this logistical and planning support, NATO is also a member of the International Contact Group on Somalia. Strategic airlift The AU made a general request to all partners, including NATO, on 17 January 2007 for financial and logistical support to AMISOM. It later made a more specific request to NATO on 22 May 2007, requesting strategic airlift support for AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM. On 7 June, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) agreed, in principle, to support this request. NATO’s support was initially authorised until 21 August 2007 and has since been renewed for periods of six months and, more recently, for one year, following AU requests. The latest to be agreed by the NAC runs until January 2015. Strategic sealift Strategic sealift support was requested at a later stage and agreed in principle by the NAC on 15 September 2009. Support is also authorised for set periods of time and is currently running until January 2015. Subject-matter experts NATO provides subject-matter experts for the AU PSOD that supports AMISOM. These experts share their knowledge in areas such as maritime planning, strategic planning, financial planning and monitoring, procurement planning, air movement coordination, communications, IT, logistics, human resources, military manpower management and contingency planning. Training NATO has been offering AU students the possibility of attending courses at the NATO School Oberammergau in areas such as crisis-management exercises. Other appropriate training facilities are being identified, based on AU requirements. Working with other international organisations In addition to logistical and planning support, NATO is also a member of the International Contact Group on Somalia. It was first invited to attend these meetings in June 2009 and has participated in subsequent meetings. The bodies involved in decision making and implementation Based on advice from NATO’s military authorities, the NAC is the body that agrees to provide support to the AU. The Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa provides diplomatic resources in support of NATO’s activities in Africa. Requests are communicated via a Note Verbale from the AU to the Norwegian Embassy, then via Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples and SHAPE to NATO HQ to consider the requests and take action as necessary. AU requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. The NATO Senior Military Liaison Officer (SMLO) is the primary point of contact for the Alliance’s activities with the AU. An SMLO is deployed on a permanent six-month rotational basis in Addis Ababa and is supported by a deputy and an administrative assistant. More specifically, with regard to NATO’s support to the AU mission in Somalia, JFC Naples – under the overall command of Allied Command Operations - is responsible for the SMLO team operating out of the Ethiopian capital. This team not only conducts NATO’s day-to-day activities, but also serves as the NATO military point of contact with partner countries and regional organisations. It served the same function for the representatives of troop-contributing countries for the AMISON operation, the representatives of the donor nations pledging support to the AU, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and various embassies.  Contributing to the establishment of an African Standby Force NATO has been providing expert and training support to the African Standby Force (ASF) at the AU’s request. The ASF is intended to be deployed in Africa in times of crisis. It is part of the AU’s efforts to develop long-term peacekeeping capabilities. ASF represents the AU’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus with some similarities to the NATO Response Force. The Alliance offers capacity-building support through courses and training events and organises different forms of support to help make the ASF operational, all at the AU’s request. NATO is, inter alia , assisting the AU with the evaluation and assessment processes linked to the operational readiness of the ASF brigades. This continental force is being operationalised and could be seen as an African contribution to wider international efforts to preserve peace and security. Expert support On 5 September 2007, as part of NATO’s capacity-building support to the AU, the NAC agreed to provide assistance to the AU with a study on the assessment of the operational readiness of the ASF brigades. Training support NATO has also provided targeted training packages to the ASF. Since 2009, the NATO School in Oberammergau has been hosting AU staff officers, who attend various courses, including operational planning discipline. JFC Naples - the designated NATO HQ to implement the Alliance’s practical cooperation with the AU – has also organised certification/evaluation training programmes for AU staff. For instance, it has trained AU officials participating in military exercises and provided military experts to assist in the evaluation and lessons learned procedures of an exercise. NATO has also participated and supported various ASF preparatory workshops designed to develop ASF-related concepts. Assisting the African Union in Darfur, Sudan The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) aimed to end violence and improve the humanitarian situation in a region that has been suffering from conflict since 2003. From June 2005 to 31 December 2007, NATO helped the AU expand its peacekeeping mission in Darfur by providing airlift for the transport of additional peacekeepers into the region and by training AU personnel. NATO support did not include the provision of combat troops. Alliance support ended on 31 December 2007 when AMIS was transferred to the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The Alliance has expressed its readiness to consider providing support to the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping force made up of peacekeepers and civilian police officers, if requested. Airlifting AU peacekeepers and civilian police Between 1 July 2005 and October 2005, NATO coordinated the strategic airlift for peacekeepers from African troop-contributing countries moving into Darfur, helping to transport almost 5,000 troops. This boosted the number of troops on the ground to 8,000. In August 2005, on the request of the AU, the NAC agreed to assist in the transportation of civilian police. NATO coordinated the airlift of some 50 AMIS civilian police between August and October 2005. Additionally, from September 2005, NATO provided the coordination of strategic airlift for the rotation of troops, transporting them in and out of the region. Overall, NATO-EU Air Movement Coordinators harmonised the airlift of some 37,500 troops, civilian police and military observers in and out of the Sudanese region. NATO alone coordinated the airlift of over 31,500 AMIS troops and personnel. NATO's airlift was managed from Europe. A special AU Air Movement Cell at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, coordinated the movement of incoming troops and personnel on the ground. Both the EU and NATO provided staff to support the cell, but the AU had the lead. Training AU personnel For the duration of the mission, NATO also provided training assistance to AMIS in a variety of disciplines. Strategic-level and operational planning: training in this area focused on technologies and techniques to create an overall analysis and understanding of Darfur, and to identify the areas where the application of AU assets could best influence the operating environment and deter crises. A total of 184 AU officers benefited from this training. They were based at two different AMIS headquarters: the Darfur Integrated Task Force Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the AMIS Force Headquarters (FHQ) in El Fasher, Sudan. On 2 June 2006, the AU requested NATO support for the establishment of an AMIS Joint Operations Centre (JOC), which the Alliance agreed to provide six days later. Two months later, in August 2006, NATO also contributed to a UN-led mapping exercise. The aim of the exercise was to help AU personnel understand and operate effectively in the theatre of operations, as well as to build their capacity to manage strategic operations. NATO provided 14 officers, including exercise writers and tactical-level controllers. Training on “lessons learned”: on 8 June 2006, the NAC agreed to the AU request for training assistance in the fields of pre-deployment certification and lessons learned. Following a further AU request on 19 September of the same year, NATO provided mentoring and training on how to establish a tailored “lessons learned” process for the AU. Seventy-five AMIS officers from three different headquarters (the Darfur Integrated Task Force Headquarters, the AMIS Force Headquarters and the AU Mission Headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan) were trained through these courses. In this area, NATO was working in full complementarity with the European Union, which also provided substantive input to the process.   Training in information management: following a Note Verbale sent by the African Union on 25 August 2006, NATO provided temporary training and mentoring on managing information to six AU officers in the Information Assessment Cell of the Darfur Integrated Task Force. The bodies involved in decision making and implementation Based on advice from NATO’s military authorities, the NAC agrees to provide support to the AU. With regard to NATO’s support to the AU mission in Sudan (AMIS), the then Joint Force Command Lisbon – under the overall command of Allied Command Operations - had the responsibility for the NATO Senior Military Liaison Officer (SMLO) team operating out of Addis Ababa. The SMLO team was NATO's single military point of contact in Addis Ababa with the AU. In addition, it was the NATO military point of contact with the representatives of the countries contributing troops to the AMIS operation, the representatives of the donor nations pledging support to the AU, the UN, the EU and various embassies.  The evolution of NATO’s assistance to AMIS On 26 April 2005, the AU asked NATO by letter to consider the possibility of providing logistical support to help expand its peace-support mission in Darfur. In May 2005, the Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Alpha Oumar Konaré, visited NATO Headquarters to provide details of the assistance request. The next day, the NAC tasked the Alliance’s military authorities to provide, as a matter of urgency, advice on possible NATO support. Following further consultations with the AU, the European Union and the United Nations, in June 2005, NATO formally agreed to provide airlift support as well as training. The first planes carrying AU peacekeepers took off on 1 July of the same year. Training of AU officers started on 1 August and, a few days later, the NAC agreed to assist in the transport of police to Darfur. Key milestones – Darfur, Sudan 26 April 2005 The AU requests NATO assistance in the expansion of its peacekeeping mission in Darfur. 17 May 2005 The Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Alpha Oumar Konaré, is the first AU official to visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels. 18 May 2005 The NAC agrees to task the Alliance’s military authorities to provide advice on possible NATO assistance. 24 May 2005 The NAC agrees on initial military options for possible NATO support. 26 May 2005 NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer participates in a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on international support to the AU’s mission. 9 June 2005 Alliance Defence Ministers announce the decision to assist the AU peace-support operation in Darfur with the coordination of strategic airlift and staff capacity-building. 1 July 2005 The NATO airlift begins. 1 August 2005 NATO training of AU officers begins. 5 August 2005 On the request of the AU, the NAC agrees to assist in the transport of civilian police to Darfur. 21 September 2005 The NAC agrees to extend the duration of NATO’s airlift support for the remaining peacekeeping reinforcements until 31 October 2005. 9 November 2005 The NAC agrees to extend NATO’s coordination of strategic airlift by two months, until end May 2006, in view of the AU’s troop rotation schedule. 29 March 2006 Following a phone call from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 27 March, the NAC announces its readiness to continue NATO’s current mission. The NAC tasks NATO military authorities to offer advice for possible NATO support to an anticipated follow-on UN mission in Darfur. 13 April 2006 The NAC announces its readiness to continue NATO’s current mission until 30 September. 5 May 2006 Two parties sign the Darfur Peace Agreement. 30 May 2006 UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Jan Egeland, visits NATO HQ to discuss Darfur and the role of the military in disaster relief. 2 June 2006 The Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Alpha Oumar Konaré, requests the extension of NATO’s airlift and training support, as well as additional forms of assistance. 8 June 2006 Defence Ministers state NATO’s willingness to expand its training assistance to AMIS and the Alliance's willingness to consider support to an anticipated follow-on UN mission. The coordination of strategic airlift is extended until the end of 2006. 16 November 2006 The Addis Ababa meeting introduces the notion of an AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping mission. 28-29 November 2006 At the Riga Summit, NATO reaffirms its support to the AU and its willingness to broaden this support. It also reiterates its commitment to coordinating with other international actors. 14 December 2006 NATO decides to extend its support mission for six additional months. 15 December 2006 US Special Envoy to Darfur, Ambassador Andrew Natsios, meets NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at NATO Headquarters, Brussels. 15 January 2007 NATO agrees to provide staff capacity-training at the AU Mission HQ in Khartoum, in addition to training provided in El Fasher and Addis Ababa. 14 June 2007 NATO Defence Ministers reiterate the Alliance’s commitment to Darfur and welcome the agreement of the Sudanese Government to a UN-AU hybrid mission in Darfur. 6-7 December 2007 NATO Foreign Ministers express readiness to continue Alliance support to the AU in Darfur, in agreement with the UN and the AU. 2-4 April 2008 At the Bucharest Summit, NATO states its concern for the situation in Darfur and its readiness to support AU peacekeeping efforts in the region. 3-4 April 2009 At the Strasbourg/ Kehl Summit, NATO reiterates its concern over Darfur and, more generally, Sudan. Stressing the principle of African ownership, NATO states that it is ready to consider further requests for support from the AU, including regional capacity-building.
  • African Union in Darfur (Sudan), Assisting the -
    Assisting the African Union in Darfur, Sudan Information on NATO assistance to the African Union can be found on:
  • Agencies and organisations
    Organisations and agencies NATO Agencies are an essential part of NATO and constitute a vital mechanism for procuring and sustaining capabilities collectively. They are executive bodies of their respective NATO procurement, logistics or service organisations, and operate under North Atlantic Council-approved charters. The NATO Agencies are established to meet collective requirements of some or all Allies in the field of procurement, logistics and other forms of services, support or cooperation. Although NATO organisations and agencies are autonomous, they are required to follow the terms set out in their charters. NATO Agencies reform The NATO Agencies reform activity is part of an ongoing NATO reform process, which is also examining changes to the military command structure. The reform aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of capabilities and services, to achieve greater synergy between similar functions and to increase transparency and accountability. At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to reform the 14 existing NATO Agencies, located in seven member countries. In particular, Allies agreed to streamline the agencies into three major programmatic themes: procurement, support and communications and information. In July 2012, a major milestone was reached, with the creation of four new NATO Organisations, assuming the functions and responsibilities of existing agencies. The reform has been implemented through several phases, to incrementally achieve increased effectiveness, efficiency and cost savings, while preserving capability and service delivery. NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), with headquarters in Brussels, providing NATO-wide IT services, procurement and support in areas such as Command and Control Systems, Tactical and Strategic Communications and Cyber Defence Systems. NATO Support Agency (NSPA), with headquarters in Capellen, Luxembourg, delivering in-service support, maintenance and logistics support for weapons systems, as well as operational logistics and other services for nations and the Alliance as a whole. NATO Procurement Organisation (NPO) – The North Atlantic Council decided to merge the Procurement and Support Agencies early 2014, reducing the number of new Organisations initially envisaged from four to three. It has postponed the activation of the procurement entity within the NSPA to the time when programmes are actually assigned by the participating countries.   The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) is to include a Programme Office for Collaborative Science and Technology and a Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation. The STO is headed by a Chief Scientist, based in Brussels, who serves as a NATO-wide senior scientific advisor. The NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) is being transferred into a NATO Standardization Office (NSO) by 1 July 2014.
  • Air and Missile Defence, NATO Integrated -
    NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence is the integration of capabilities and overlapping operations of all services (air, land and maritime forces) to deter and defend all Alliance territory, populations and forces to ensure freedom of action by negating an adversary’s ability to achieve adverse effects from its air and missile capabilities. It includes a network of interconnected systems to detect, track, classify, identify and monitor airborne objects, and – if necessary – to intercept them using surface-based or airborne weapons systems, as well as the procedures necessary to employ the systems. NATO member countries started working together in the 1970s to establish an integrated air defence structure and system, combining national assets supplemented as needed by NATO elements. Operating together is both more effective and more efficient in protecting against air attacks than national air defence systems operating independently. With the advent of an Alliance ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability, this structure is now known as the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS). It comes under the command and control of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The NATINAMDS is a cornerstone of NATO air and missile defence policy, and a visible indication of cohesion, shared responsibility and solidarity across the Alliance. Components The NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System is comprised of the four functional areas of ‘Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence’ ‘Surveillance’, ‘Active Air Defence’ and ‘Passive Air Defence’. All four functional areas contribute to the Defensive Counter Air (DCA) mission and provide the basis for the protection of Alliance populations, territory and forces and the projection of air and missile defence firepower. Depending on the mission, NATO Allies commit forces (land, air and maritime) which are assigned to SACEUR. However, the decision on the size and shape of the forces and their equipment to be provided remains a national responsibility.  The Air Command and Control System Air Command and Control (Air C2) is essential to the success of any operation. The Air C2 structure in NATO is a patchwork of disparate and aging systems that in many cases are reaching the end of their planned operational life. In recognition of the increasingly joint nature of military operations – as well as of the need to replace aging equipment – NATO has developed a new and more robust capability that will be a C2 system for all air operations. This system, called Air Command and Control System (ACCS), will facilitate the planning, tasking, execution and coordination of all integrated air and missile defence missions in peacetime, crisis and conflict. ACCS will support all of NATO’s static and deployed operations and missions. Tasks NATO air policing NATO air policing is a peacetime mission which requires an Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS), an Air Command and Control (Air C2) structure and Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) (QRA(I)) aircraft to be available on a 24/7 basis.. This enables the Alliance to detect, track and identify to the greatest extent possible all aerial objects approaching or operating within NATO airspace so that violations and infringements can be recognised, and the appropriate action taken. Although not all Allies possess the necessary means to provide air policing of their airspace, other countries provide assistance when needed to ensure that no country is left at a disadvantage and equality of security is provided for all. SACEUR is responsible for the conduct of the NATO air policing mission.. Theatre ballistic missile defence In 2010, NATO fielded an Interim theatre ballistic missile defence capability to protect Alliance forces against ballistic missile threats. Ballistic missile defence At the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, Allied leaders decided to develop a ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability to pursue collective defence. Specifically, they decided that the scope of the current Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) programme’s command, control and communication capabilities would be expanded beyond the capability to protect deployed forces to also include NATO European territory, forces and populations. The United States’ European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) and other possible national contributions were welcomed as valuable national contributions to the NATO BMD architecture. In May 2012 at the Chicago Summit, NATO leaders declared that the Alliance had achieved an Interim NATO BMD capability. This is a significant first step in implementing NATO’s BMD capability. It offers the maximum coverage within available means to defend NATO’s populations, territory and forces across southern Europe against a ballistic missile attack. The Alliance remains committed to installing full BMD coverage for all NATO European territory by the end of this decade. Mechanisms The Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) is the senior multinational policy advisory and coordinating body regarding all elements of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence, and relevant air power aspects. It reports directly to the North Atlantic Council (NAC). The Military Committee Working Group (Air Defence) is responsible for reviewing, advising and making recommendations on air and missile defence issues to NATO’s Military Committee. Other groups dealing with air and missile defence-related issues include NATO’s Defence Policy and Planning Committee (Reinforced) with particular responsibilities on ballistic missile defence, the Missile Defence Project Group, the BMD Programme Office, and the NATO-Russia Council Missile Defence Working Group. In October 2013, NATO-Russia missile defence-related discussions were paused by Russia, and in April 2014, NATO suspended all cooperation with Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis. AMDC and cooperation with partners Since 1994, the AMDC has maintained a dialogue with NATO partner countries to promote mutual understanding, transparency and confidence in air defence matters of common interest. The air defence partner cooperation programme includes fact-finding meetings with air defence experts, seminars and workshops, visits to air defence facilities and installations, joint analytical studies and a programme for the exchange of unclassified air situation data.
  • Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC)
    Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) The Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC) is the senior policy advisory and coordinating body regarding all aspects of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence and related air power aspects, including air command and control. The AMDC also supports Alliance work on establishing a ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability by offering specialist advice and expertise to the senior level committee responsible for BMD development. Main participants The AMDC is chaired by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General and supported by the Armaments and Aerospace Capabilities Directorate of the Defence Investment (DI) Division. The Vice Chairman of the AMDC is a senior level (two-star) national secondee who serves a two-year term when elected by the AMDC. The AMDC holds meetings twice a year at heads of delegation level, including one within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) framework with partners. Working mechanism As a senior committee, the AMDC reports directly to the North Atlantic Council (NAC). It is supported by the Panel on Air and Missile Defence, which develops policy advice for consideration by the AMDC to support Alliance objectives and priorities. The panel also works to identify opportunities for air and missile defence cooperation, development and research collaboration with members and Euro-Atlantic partners.  Under the aegis of the AMDC, a NATO Analytical Air Defence Cell (NAADC) provides support to Allies and partners by developing joint studies of national air defence capabilities and systems.
  • Air Command and Control System (ACCS), NATO
    NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) The NATO Air Command And Control System (ACCS) is intended to combine, and automate, at the tactical level the planning and tasking and execution of all air operations. When operational, the ACCS will provide a unified air command and control system, enabling NATO’s European nations (including new Alliance members) to seamlessly manage all types of air operations over their territory, and beyond. NATO members will be able to integrate their air traffic control, surveillance, air mission control, airspace management and force management functions. ACCS will incorporate the most modern technologies, and will make full use of up-to-date data link communications. Through its open architecture, the system is already evolving to meet emerging operational requirements such as those associated with theatre missile defence, and it will be able to adapt to a changing operational environment such as network centric warfare.
  • Airlift , Strategic -
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  • Air Traffic Management Committee (ATMC)
    NATO Air Traffic Management Committee The NATO Air Traffic Management Committee (ATMC) is the senior civil-military NATO body with responsibility for air traffic management (ATM). The ATMC ensures NATO’s interface with civil aviation authorities and is charged with the production, dissemination, monitoring and enforcement of Allied ATM standards, guidance and policy. It also advises the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on all matters related to airspace use and ATM in support of Alliance objectives. Role and responsibilities The ATMC’s main focus is to provide ATM support to NATO missions, operations and exercises. Most notably, this vital support is being provided in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Libya, where NATO is working alongside national governments, international and regional bodies and organisations to rebuild and rehabilitate the countries’ respective aviation sectors. To ensure that Allied forces train and prepare adequately for their contribution to operations, the ATMC monitors aviation modernisation developments. It takes appropriate action to safeguard NATO’s requirements regarding airspace utilisation and evaluates the impact of new ATM and communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) developments on NATO’s operational capability. The Committee regularly tasks its technical working body, known as the Air Traffic Management-Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Working Group (ATM-CNS WG) to develop consolidated NATO views, policies, doctrines and guidance on ATM matters. This approach helps the ATMC contribute to ATM harmonisation, interoperability and standardisation for manned and un-manned aircraft. Further, the ATMC helps NATO contribute to security in the civil/military aviation domain through a joint NATO/Eurocontrol ATM Security Coordinating Group. Main participants The ATMC is chaired by the Director of the Aerospace Capabilities Directorate in NATO’s Defence Investment (DI) Division. The day-to-day work of the Committee is supported by DI. Airspace use and ATM require global coordination. Thus, the ATMC ensures cooperation, dialogue and partnership with other national, regional and international aviation organisations and bodies. Representatives of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Eurocontrol, European Commission Air transport, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other aviation stakeholders regularly attend ATMC meetings and provide advice and support. Dedicated sessions of the committee take place in cooperation with partner countries. In particular, the ATMC also works with the involvement and support of NATO’s Euro-Atlantic and Mediterranean Dialogue partners.
  • Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)
    Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) NATO is acquiring the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system that will give commanders a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground. NATO’s operation to protect civilians in Libya showed how important such a capability is. A group of Allies is acquiring five Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and the associated command and control base stations that make up the AGS system. NATO will then operate and maintain them on behalf of all 28 Allies. The AGS system is being acquired by 15 Allies (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States), and will be made available to the Alliance in the 2017-2018 timeframe. All Allies will contribute to the development of the AGS capability through financial contributions covering the establishment of the AGS main operating base, as well as to communications and life-cycle support of the AGS fleet. Some Allies will replace part of their financial contribution through ‘contributions in kind’ (national surveillance systems that will be made available to NATO). The NATO-owned and -operated AGS core capability will enable the Alliance to perform persistent surveillance over wide areas from high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft, operating at considerable stand-off distances and in any weather or light condition. Using advanced radar sensors, these systems will continuously detect and track moving objects throughout observed areas and will provide radar imagery of areas of interest and stationary objects. The main operating base for AGS will be located at Sigonella Air Base in Italy, which will serve a dual purpose as a NATO Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) deployment base and data exploitation and training centre. Just as NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (NAEW&C) aircraft – also known as AWACS – monitor Alliance airspace, AGS will be able to observe what is happening on the earth’s surface, providing situational awareness before, during and, if needed, after NATO operations. AGS responds to one of the major capability commitments of the Lisbon Summit. Components The AGS Core will be an integrated system consisting of an air segment, a ground segment and a support segment. The air segment consists of five RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 40 aircraft. The aircraft will be equipped with a state-of-the-art, multi-platform radar technology insertion programme  (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, as well as an extensive suite of line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, long-range, wideband data links. The air segment will also contain the remotely piloted aircraft  (RPA) flight control stations. The ground segment will provide an interface between the AGS Core system and a wide range of command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR) systems to interconnect with and provide data to multiple deployed and non-deployed operational users, including reach-back facilities remote from the surveillance area. The ground segment component will consist of a number of ground stations in various configurations, such as mobile and transportable, which will provide data-link connectivity, data-processing and exploitation capabilities and interfaces for interoperability with C2ISR systems. The AGS Core support segment will include dedicated mission support facilities at the AGS main operating base (MOB) in Sigonella, Italy. Contributions in kind provided by France and the United Kingdom will complement the AGS with additional surveillance systems. The composition of the AGS Core system and these contributions in kind will provide NATO with considerable flexibility in employing its ground surveillance capabilities. This will be supplemented by additional interoperable national airborne surveillance systems from NATO member countries, tailored to the needs of a specific operation or mission conducted by the Alliance. Mechanisms The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Organisation (NAGSMO) is responsible for the acquisition of the AGS core capability on behalf of the 15 participating countries. The AGS Implementation Office (AGS IO) is located at the headquarters of Allied Command Operations (SHAPE) is responsible for ensuring the successful operational integration and employment of the NATO AGS core capability. The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA), representing the 15 AGS acquisition nations, awarded the prime contract for the system to Northrop Grumman in May 2012 during the Chicago Summit. Northrop Grumman has begun the production of the first AGS aircraft. The company's primary industrial team includes Airbus Defence and Space (Germany), Selex ES (Italy) and Kongsberg (Norway), as well as leading defence companies from all participating countries. The industries of all 15 participating countries are contributing to the delivery of the AGS system. The engagement of NATO common funds for infrastructure, communications, operation and support will follow normal funding authorisation procedures applicable within the Alliance. By the time AGS becomes fully operational in 2018, France and the United Kingdom will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), outlining the modalities for making their contributions in kind available to the Alliance. Supporting NATO’s core tasks The Lisbon Summit set out the vision of Allied Heads of State and Government for the evolution of NATO and the security of its member countries. This vision is based on three core tasks, which are detailed in the new Strategic Concept: collective defence crisis management cooperative security AGS was recognised at Lisbon as a critical capability for the Alliance and is planned to be a major contributor to NATO’s Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) ambition. AGS will contribute to these three core tasks through using its MP-RTIP radar sensor to collect information that will provide political and military decision makers with a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground. Facts and figures General characteristics of the RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 40 Remotely Piloted Aircraft: Primary function: High-altitude, long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Power Plant: Rolls Royce-North American AE 3007H turbofan Thrust: 7,600 lbs  Wingspan: 130.9 ft / 39.8 m Length: 47.6 ft / 14.5 m Height: 15.3 ft / 4.7 m Weight: 14,950 lbs / 6,781 kg Maximum takeoff weight: 32,250 lbs / 14,628 kg Fuel Capacity: 17,300 lbs / 7,847 kg Payload: 3,000 lbs / 1,360 kg Speed: 310 knots / 357 mph / 575 kph Range: 8,700 nautical miles / 10,112 miles / 16,113 km Ceiling: 60,000 ft / 18,288 m Evolution Originating from the Defence Planning Committee in 1992, the AGS programme was defined as a capability acquisition effort in 1995, when the NATO Defence Ministers agreed that “the Alliance should pursue work on a minimum essential NATO-owned and -operated core capability supplemented by interoperable national assets.” The AGS programme was to provide NATO with a complete and integrated ground surveillance capability that would offer the Alliance and its member countries unrestricted and unfiltered access to ground surveillance data in near real time, and in an interoperable manner.  It was to include an air segment comprising airborne radar sensors, and a ground segment comprising fixed, transportable and mobile ground stations for data exploitation and dissemination, all seamlessly interconnected linked through high-performance data links. From the outset, the AGS capability was expected to be based on one or more types of ground surveillance assets either already existing or in development in NATO member countries, an approach that later also came to include proposed developmental systems based on US or European radars.  However, all those approaches failed to obtain sufficient support by the Allies to allow their realisation.  In 2001, the Reinforced North Atlantic Council (NAC(R)) decided to revitalise AGS through a developmental programme available to all NATO countries and a corresponding cooperative radar development effort called the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR). In 2004, NATO decided to move ahead with what was labelled as a mixed-fleet approach.  The air segment was to include Airbus A321 manned aircraft and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), both carrying versions of the TCAR radar, while the ground segment was to comprise an extensive set of fixed and deployable ground stations. Due to declining European defence budgets, NATO decided in 2007 to discontinue the mixed-fleet approach and instead to move forward with a simplified AGS system where the air segment was based on the off-the-shelf Global Hawk Block 40 UAV and its associated MP-RTIP sensor.  The ground segment, which would largely be developed and built by European and Canadian industry, remained virtually unchanged as its functional and operational characteristics were largely independent of the actual aircraft and sensor used. In February 2009, the NATO Allies participating in the AGS programme started the process to sign the Programme Memorandum of Understanding (PMOU). This was a significant step forward on the road towards realising an urgently required, operationally essential capability for NATO.  NAGSMA was established in September 2009, after all participating countries had agreed on the PMOU. The PMOU serves as the basis for the procurement of this new NATO capability. Another important milestone for the AGS programme was the 2010 Lisbon Summit, where the strong operational need for a NATO-owned and -operated AGS capability was reconfirmed with NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. AGS also featured in the Lisbon Package as one of the Alliance’s most pressing capability needs. On 3 February 2012, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) decided on a way ahead to collectively cover the costs for operating AGS for the benefit of the Alliance.  The decision to engage NATO common funding for infrastructure, satellite communications and operations and support paves the way for awarding the AGS acquisition contract.  In addition, an agreement was reached to make the UK Sentinel system and the future French Heron TP system available as national contributions in kind, partly replacing financial contributions from those two Allies.
  • Allied Command Operations (ACO)
    Allied Command Operations (ACO) Allied Command Operations (ACO) is responsible for the planning and execution of all Alliance operations. It consists of a small number of permanently established headquarters, each with a specific role. The Supreme Allied Commander, Europe - or SACEUR – assumes the overall command of operations at the strategic level and exercises his responsibilities from the headquarters in Mons, Belgium: the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, more commonly known as SHAPE. ACO is one of two strategic commands at the head of NATO’s military command structure; the other is Allied Command Transformation (ACT), which as its name indicates, leads the transformation of NATO’s military structure, forces, capabilities and doctrine. Together they form what is called the NATO Command Structure (NCS), whose function is first and foremost to be able to address threats and should deterrence fail, an armed attack against the territory of any of the European¹ Allies. Ultimately, the NCS plays an essential role in preserving cohesion and solidarity within the Alliance, maintaining and strengthening the vital transatlantic link and promoting the principle of equitable sharing among Allies of the roles, risks and responsibilities, as well as the benefits of collective defence. ACO must ensure the ability to operate at three overlapping levels: strategic, operational and tactical, with the overarching aim of maintaining the integrity of Alliance territory, safeguarding freedom of the seas and economic lifelines, and to preserve or restore the security of NATO member countries. Moreover, in the current security environment, deploying forces further afield has become the norm. Decisions to streamline NATO’s military command structure were taken in June 2011 as part of a wider process of reform. ACO was principally affected by this reform, the full implementation of which is expected by the end of 2015, when all entities involved will reach full operational capability. With this reform, new tasks stemming from the 2010 Strategic Concept were included and the Alliance’s level of ambition maintained. Elements of ACO will gain in flexibility and provide a deployable Command and Control (C2) capability at the operational level, offering choices and options for rapid intervention that have not previously been available to the Alliance. Moreover, a Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Group has been formed as part of the military command structure to provide additional deployable communication and information systems support. Once fully implemented, the reform will lead to an estimated reduction in personnel of approximately 30 per cent (from 13,000 to 8,800). The military command structure proper has been downsized from 11 entities to seven². Links with the NATO Force Structure will be reinforced. The Force Structure is composed of Allied national and multinational deployable forces and headquarters placed at the Alliance’s disposal by member countries on a permanent or temporary basis. National contributions are made available for NATO operations at appropriate states of readiness when required. Rules of deployment and transfer of authority to NATO command can vary from country to country. It is considered that whereas Article 5 applies to the entire NATO Treaty Area, the NATO Command Structure’s operational area of responsibility does not include the territory of the United States or Canada. This is not meant to imply that the NATO Command Structure should not be able to support the United States and Canada should the territory of these two Allies be subject to an armed attack, but rather to acknowledge that defensive operations on the territory of these two Allies will be conducted, commanded and controlled in accordance with bilateral arrangements and not under the auspices of the NATO Command Structure. These figures cover Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation. The military command structure As previously explained, ACO is a three-tier command with headquarters and supporting elements at the strategic, operational and tactical level. It exercises command and control of static and deployable headquarters, as well as joint and combined forces across the full range of the Alliance’s military missions. Joint forces are forces from two or more military departments working under a single command and combined forces are forces from different countries working under a single command. SHAPE, at the strategic level, is at the head of six operational commands, two of which are supported by tactical (or component) level entities. Allied Command Operations Strategic level command: SHAPE SHAPE is a strategic headquarters. Its role is to prepare, plan, conduct and execute NATO military operations, missions and tasks in order to achieve the strategic objectives of the Alliance. As such it contributes to the deterrence of aggression and the preservation of peace, security and the territorial integrity of Alliance. ACO is headed by SACEUR, who exercises his responsibilities from SHAPE. Traditionally, he is a United States Flag or General officer. SACEUR is dual-hatted as the commander of the US European Command, which shares many of the same geographical responsibilities. SACEUR is responsible to the Military Committee, which is the senior military authority in NATO under the overall political authority of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG). The Military Committee is the primary source of military advice to the NAC and NPG. Operational level commands: Brunssum and Naples The operational level consists of two standing Joint Force Commands (JFCs): one in Brunssum, the Netherlands, and one in Naples, Italy. Both have to be prepared to plan, conduct and sustain NATO operations of different size and scope. Effectively, they need to be able to manage a major joint operation either from their static location in Brunssum or Naples, or from a deployed headquarters when operating directly in a theatre of operation. In the latter case, the deployed headquarter is referred to as a Joint Task Force HQ or JTFHQ and should be able to operate for a period of up to one year. When deployed, a Joint Force Command is only charged to command one operation at a time. However, the elements of the Joint Force Command which have not deployed can provide support to other operations and missions. When a Joint Force Command is not deployed, it can assist ACO in dealing with other headquarters which are deployed in theatre for day-to-day matters and assist, for instance, with the training and preparation for future rotations. The two commands at this level are also responsible for engaging with key partners and regional organisations in order to support regional NATO HQ tasks and responsibilities, as directed by SACEUR. Additionally, they support the reinforcement of cooperation with partners participating in NATO operations and help to prepare partner countries for NATO membership. Tactical level commands: Izmir, Northwood and Ramstein Land, maritime and air commands The tactical (or component) level consists of what is called Single Service Commands (SSCs): land, maritime and air commands. These service-specific commands provide expertise and support to the Joint Force Commands at the operational level in Brunssum or Naples. They report directly to SHAPE and come under the command of SACEUR. Land command , Headquarters Allied Land Command (HQ LANDCOM), Izmir, Turkey: this command’s role is to provide a deployable land command and control capability in support of a Joint Force Command running an operation larger than a major joint operation. It can also provide the core land capability for a joint operation (major or not) or a deployable command and control capability for a land operation. Izmir is also the principal land advisor for the Alliance and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Maritime command , Headquarters Allied Maritime Command (HQ MARCOM), Northwood, the United Kingdom: this command’s role is to provide command and control for the full spectrum of joint maritime operations and tasks. From its location in Northwood, it plans, conducts and supports joint maritime operations. It is also the Alliance’s principal maritime advisor and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Northwood is ready to command a small maritime joint operation or act as the maritime component in support of an operation larger than a major joint operation. Air command , Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM), Ramstein, Germany: this command’s role is to plan and direct the air component of Alliance operations and missions, and the execution of Alliance air and missile defence operations and missions. Ramstein is also the Alliance’s principal air advisor and contributes to development and transformation, engagement and outreach within its area of expertise. Ramstein, with adequate support from within and outside the NATO Command Structure can provide command and control for a small joint air operation from its static location, i.e., from Ramstein or can act as Air Component Command to support an operation which is as big or bigger than a major joint operation. To reinforce its capability, Ramstein has additional air command and control elements available: two Combined Air Operations Centres and a Deployable Air Command and Control Centre. The air elements are also structured in a more flexible way to take account of the experience gained in NATO-led operations. Additional air support To carry out its missions and tasks, HQ AIRCOM (Ramstein) is supported by Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOC) in Torrejon, Spain and in Uedem, Germany, as well as one Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) in Poggio Renatico, Italy. CAOCs: both the CAOC in Spain and in Germany are composed of two parts. One part is a Static Air Defence Centre (SADC) responsible for air policing and the other, a Deployable Air Operations Centre (D-AOC), which supports operations. The D-AOC is an element focused on the production of combat plans and the conduct of combat operations. It has no territorial responsibilities assigned during peacetime, but supplements the HQ AIRCOM when required. DACCC: this entity based in Italy consists of three elements. Firstly, a DARS or Deployable Air Control Centre + Recognized Air Picture Production Centre + Sensor Fusion Post. The DARS is responsible for the control of air missions including surface-to-air missiles, air traffic management and control, area air surveillance and production of a recognised air picture and other tactical control functions; secondly, a D-AOC, which has the same role as a CAOC; and thirdly, a Deployable Sensors Section, which provides both air defence radar and passive electronic support measures tracker capabilities that are deployable. Communication and information systems   Communication and information systems (CIS) have been split into two: the deployable CIS capabilities and the static CIS capabilities. The NATO CIS Group based in Mons, Belgium will provide deployable communications and information systems support for ACO. The NATO CIS Group is responsible for the provision of all deployable CIS capabilities, as well as CIS operations and exercises planning and control. It acts as the coordinating authority for command and control services support to operations. The provision of the static and central CIS capabilities is the responsibility of the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), which is not part of the NATO Command Structure. The NATO Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Group will be supported by three NATO Signals Battalions located at Wesel, Germany, Grazzanise, Italy, and Bydgoszcz, Poland. These three will be complemented by various smaller elements (Deployable CIS modules) elsewhere. STRIKFORNATO, AWACS and AGS Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&CF) and Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) are part of the NATO Immediate Response Capability. They are multinational structures that are not part of the Command Structure, but are available for the Alliance and organized under Memorandums of Understanding and Technical Agreements (MOU/ TA) signed by the respective contributing countries. STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable maritime headquarters that provides scalable command and control across the full spectrum of the Alliance’s fundamental security tasks. It focuses on maritime operations and, as part of NATO reforms, has moved from Italy to Portugal. It comprises 11 participating countries and serves as a link for integrating US maritime forces into NATO operations. Final agreement is awaited on the NATO NAEW&C Force. The Force Commander is conducting a comprehensive Force Review that will determine the size and shape of the Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) capability for the future and is adapting the capability to match the new manpower ceilings decided in the context of the new Command Structure. The NAEW&C Force comprises three elements: a multinational HQ (Mons) and two operational components, the multinational E-3A and the E-3D. NATO Air Base (NAB) Geilenkirchen, Germany, is home to 17 Boeing E-3A 'Sentry' AWACS aircrafts. NATO operates this fleet, which provides the Alliance with an immediately available airborne command and control (C2), air and maritime surveillance and battle-space management capability. The fleet of six Boeing E-3D aircraft based in Waddington, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, is manned by RAF personnel only. The United Kingdom exercises limited participation, but her fleet of E-3D aircraft is an integral part of the NAEW&C Force. NATO is acquiring an Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system that will provide SACEUR with the capabilities for near real-time, continuous information and situational awareness concerning friendly, neutral and opposing ground and surface entities. The AGS system will consist of five Global Hawk Unmanned Airborne Vehicles and the associated command and control base stations, as well as support facilities provided by the AGS’ main operating base at Sigonella, Italy. Using advanced radar sensors, these systems will continuously detect and track moving objects and will provide radar imagery of areas of interest and stationary objects. The system will be fully trained and equipped to participate in NATO approved operations worldwide and available at graduated levels of readiness. It is expected to be available to the Alliance in the 2015-2017 timeframe. Evolution The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE) was activated on 2 April 1951, in Rocquencourt, France, as part of an effort to establish an integrated and effective NATO military force. Allied Command, Atlantic, headed by Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) was activated a year later, on 10 April 1952. In 1967, after France’s withdrawal from NATO’s integrated military structure, SHAPE was relocated to Mons, Belgium. The London Declaration of July 1990 was a decisive turning point in the history of the Alliance and led to the adoption of the new Alliance Strategic Concept in November 1991, reflecting a broader approach to security. This in turn led to NATO’s Long Term Study to examine the Integrated Military Structure and put forward proposals for change to the Alliance’s force structures, command structures and common infrastructure. In essence, the Cold War command structure was reduced from 78 headquarters to 20 with two overarching Strategic Commanders (SC), one for the Atlantic, and one for Europe; there were three Regional Commanders under the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT) and two under the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). During the 2002 Prague Summit, NATO’s military Command Structure was again reorganised with a focus on becoming leaner and more efficient. The former Allied Command Europe (ACE) became the Allied Command Operations (ACO). The Supreme Allied Commander Europe and his staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) situated in Mons, Belgium, were henceforth responsible for all Alliance operations, including those previously undertaken by SACLANT. The reform resulted in a significant reduction in headquarters and Combined Air Operations Centres – from 32 command centres down to 9 – and reflected a fundamental shift in Alliance thinking. In 2010, the decision was taken to conduct a far-reaching reform of the NATO Command Structure as part of an overall reform of NATO. The reform was conducted with the development of the Strategic Concept 2010 firmly in mind and has focused on ensuring that the Alliance can confront the security challenges of the 21st century effectively and efficiently. The new Command Structure is forward-looking and flexible, as well as leaner and more affordable. In comparison to the previous structures, it will provide a real deployable, multinational, command and control capability at the operational level. It also offers a more coherent structure that will be understood by other international organisations and partners. The new Command Structure was approved by NATO defence ministers in June 2011. It transitioned to its new format (Transition Day) on 1 December 2012 and is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2015.
  • Allied Command Transformation (ACT)
    Last updated: 02-Oct-2013 15:15 News
  • Archives Committee, The -
    The Archives Committee The Archives Committee assists and advises the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on all archives and records-related matters to ensure the preservation of and public access to information of permanent value held in the NATO Archives. Reporting directly to the NAC, it is the only body tasked with NATO-wide responsibilities related to the corporate management of the Organization’s records and archives. Formally established in 1999, the Archives Committee is mandated to maintain, implement and update records and archives policies and procedures throughout NATO to ensure all requirements emerging from NATO’s missions are met. It serves as the primary forum of exchange and consultation to facilitate dialogue between the Allies on all records and archives matters. Role of the Archives Committee The Archives Committee provides guidance to the NAC regarding the management and preservation of the Alliance’s records and archives. It provides a records and archives perspective to Information Management at NATO by reviewing, expanding and monitoring compliance of policies on the retention, disposition, long-term preservation and public disclosure of information. To support NATO’s ongoing engagement with the public, the Archives Committee raises awareness of the Organization’s archival heritage through the preservation and public disclosure of records of permanent value related to the evolution of NATO, its missions, consultations and the decision-making process.  Members also play an advocacy role with their respective governments to emphasize the need for the NATO Archives, their benefits, and the requirements for proper funding. Working mechanisms The Archives Committee The Archives Committee reports directly to the NAC through an annual report. It normally meets once a year but will meet more often should the need arise. It also holds workshops once or twice a year. All NATO countries are represented at the meetings either by members of Delegations, senior officials or senior national archivists. A senior member of the International Staff chairs the Archives Committee. Representatives from the International Staff and the International Military Staff, as well as senior officials from both civil and military bodies at NATO, support the work of the Archives Committee. On behalf of the Archives Committee, the NATO Archivist is responsible for drafting, publishing and amending NATO-wide policies and directives for the management of NATO’s collective institutional memory. The implementation of these policies and guidelines fall into two main areas of responsibility: declassification and public review, and holdings management. Declassification and Public Disclosure Review The Archives Committee aims to foster transparency and increase the understanding of the role of the Alliance by making NATO records available through the Public Disclosure Programme. Through this programme, managed and coordinated by the NATO Archivist, 30 year old records of permanent value are identified and proposed for declassification and public disclosure review. Once approved by the competent authorities in the member countries, the records are made available for public consultation in the NATO Archives Reading Room. Ad hoc requests made by competent authorities in member countries for public disclosure of records less than 30 years old also fall under the responsibility of the Archives Committee. Holdings Management The Archives Committee is responsible for ensuring that recognized records and archival management practices and standards are implemented at NATO regarding the retention, disposition and long-term preservation of NATO records. It also oversees the drafting and approval of records and archives policies related to the management of NATO’s operations and the closure of NATO civilian and military bodies. Evolution of the Archives Committee In response to requests from researchers and the academic community for the historical documents of the Alliance, the process to establish the Archives Committee, and with it the NATO Archives, began in earnest in 1989. An ad hoc group composed of members of the International Staff and archival experts from member countries was created to prepare guidance for the release of NATO information. In light of the size of the collection and the volume of work it represented the process was strengthened with the creation of a group of Deputy Permanent Representatives reinforced with national archivists and consultants, who were hired by the Organization to prepare the way for the implementation of a release policy. The consultants recommended that an advisory body be established to assist the Council in the corporate management of the NATO Archives. The NATO Archives officially opened 19 May 1999 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Alliance and on 10 September 1999, the mandate of the Archives Committee was officially approved by the NAC. The formal establishment of the Archives Committee and the NATO Archives led to the availability of the Alliance’s records to the public for the first time. With the ongoing development of the NATO Archives Virtual Reading Room, researchers will be able to enjoy even greater access to publicly disclosed NATO documents related to the Alliance’s history, evolution and decision-making process.
  • Armenia, NATO’s relations with
    NATO’s relations with Armenia NATO and Armenia cooperate on democratic, institutional, and defence reforms, in addition to working together in many other areas, including peace support operations. The Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) lays out the programme of cooperation between Armenia and NATO and sets out a wide-ranging roadmap for reforms. While Armenia intends to intensify practical and political cooperation with NATO in order to draw closer to the Alliance, it does not seek membership in NATO. Beyond the focus on reform, another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Armenian troops are currently deployed as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, as well as KFOR. Framework for cooperation Armenia sets out its reform plans and timelines in its Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. The most recent NATO-Armenia IPAP was agreed in November 2011. Armenia’s IPAP is geared towards both strengthening political dialogue between NATO and Armenia as well as supporting Armenia’s democratic and defence reforms. The wide-ranging nature of the IPAP means that Armenia is not only cooperating with NATO in the defence sphere, but is in regular consultation with the Allies on political & security issues, including relations with neighbours, democratic standards, rule of law, counter-terrorism and the fight against corruption. As part of the IPAP, NATO agrees to support Armenia in achieving its reform goals by providing focused advice and assistance. Armenia also makes important contributions to NATO-led operations. Armenia also cooperates with NATO and other Partner countries in a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Armenia tailors its participation in the PfP programme through an annual Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme, selecting those activities that will help achieve the goals it has set in the IPAP. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Since joining the PfP in 1994, Armenia has contributed to Euro-Atlantic security alongside NATO Allies. Since 2004, Armenia has been contributing troops to the Kosovo Force (KFOR). Currently, it contributes one infantry platoon of 35 personnel to KFOR. Since 2009, Armenia has also been contributing forces to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Currently it provides three platoons to ISAF. With the deployment of 80 additional personnel in mid-June 2011, Armenia increased its contribution to ISAF from 40 to 120. An additional five infantry trainers deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011. Armenia is cooperating with NATO and individual Allies on facilitating the interoperability of the Armenian Peacekeeping Battalion to become a brigade with associated combat support and combat service support units by 2015 with those of NATO countries. Experts in military education and training from NATO and Partners nations, coordinated by NATO staff, work with Armenian military officials to review Armenia’s progress on the Military Education Concept. This concept will provide guidance for the development of revised junior and senior officer staff courses. The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) is a core element of Armenia’s cooperation with NATO, which is helping to develop the ability of its forces to work with NATO forces on operations. One NATO nation in coordination with NATO staff is also supporting the introduction of civilian personnel to the Armenian Ministry of Defence. Armenia participates in PARP process since 2002. Armenia contributes to the fight against terrorism through its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T). This includes sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border security. Border security experts from NATO and Partners nations have also supported border security improvements. A report produced by these experts in 2010 provided recommendations to the Armenian State Border Force; these have been translated in goals for the State Border Force to improve border security. A further NATO-Armenia workshop on border security took place in October 2011. In consultation with NATO, Armenia has begun a process of reviewing its national crisis-management procedures and arrangements. NATO has no direct role in negotiations aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which are being conducted in the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group. However, NATO takes an interest in this process and encourages all sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Peaceful resolution of conflicts is a core value of NATO, and is one of the core commitments that all Partner countries commit to when joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP). Defence and security sector reform NATO is supportive of the wide-ranging democratic and institutional reform process underway in Armenia.  In the area of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that Armenia can draw upon. A key priority for Armenia is to ensure democratic control of the armed forces, which is being reinforced by its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building. Armenia has consulted with NATO Allies on the development of a National Security Strategy and a new Military Doctrine. Using guidance provided by these documents, Armenia completed its Strategic Defence Review in May 2011 and initiated its implementation, Armenia and NATO staff, supported by national experts, are in consultations over Armenian defence planning and budgeting procedures which will be key tools for the implementation of the Strategic Defence Review and the development of its defence plans. NATO and Armenia are cooperating on the establishment of a situation centre in Yerevan. This centre will assist in crisis-management and counter-terrorism coordination. Civil emergency planning Armenia is determined to improve its emergency preparedness and response capabilities to deal with disasters and asymmetric threats. In the context of the IPAP, the Armenian Rescue Service is taking a number of measures to improve contingency planning and is actively contributing to the establishment of the planned government crisis-management centre. Armenia is also working to enhance links with the NATO-based Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) in order to contribute to international disaster relief operations. The Armenian Rescue Service is preparing two teams (search and rescue and chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear experts) to be made available for disaster relief operations. In September 2010, Armenia hosted a large NATO/Partnership for Peace consequence management field exercise called “Armenia 2010”. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Armenia has received grant awards for about 38 projects for scientific and environmental collaboration. Projects undertaken include the prevention of, detection of, and response to, nuclear and radiological threats, risk assessment on natural disasters, water security, and cataloguing discarded pesticides to lay the groundwork for their proper disposal. Researchers from Armenia have also been working on a SPS funded project in the Caucasus region designed to gather comprehensive seismic observations, conduct hazard analyses and prepare for effective and prompt response to emergencies. Other projects include collaboration on improving trans-boundary water quality with Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as network technology studies. Armenia also participated in the Virtual Silk Highway project, which aims to improve internet access for academics and research communities in the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through a satellite-based network. SPS also sponsors workshops in Armenia, including one in Yerevan in May 2009 that examined issues related to nuclear power and energy security. In total, scientists and experts from Armenia have had leading roles in 143 activities. Public Information Annually, Armenia organizes a NATO week to raise public awareness of NATO and Armenia’s cooperation with the Alliance. It is also undertaking efforts to improve public information in support of its defence and security reforms. In line with this, NATO continues to provide advice and support where requested, including relevant training and consultations. A NATO information centre was officially opened in Yerevan in 2007 with the support of the Armenian government and NATO. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Armenia is the embassy of the United Kingdom. Milestones in relations 1992 Armenia joins the newly created North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, in 1997. 1994 Armenia joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 2002 Armenia is connected to the Virtual Silk Highway.   Armenia joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 2003 Armenia hosts the PfP exercise “Cooperative Best Effort 2003” in June. 2004 Armenian forces join KFOR. At the Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders place special focus on the Caucasus – a special NATO representative and a liaison officer are assigned to the region. 2005 On June 16, Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian presents Armenia’s first IPAP to the North Atlantic Council.   President Kocharian visits NATO Headquarters.   NATO and Armenia agree on Armenia’s first IPAP. 2006 Allies hold their first IPAP Assessment with Armenia in Brussels. Foreign Minister Oskanian and Defence Minister Sargsyan participate.   2007 A NATO information centre officially opens in Yerevan. 2008 Armenia hosts the PfP Exercise Cooperative Longbow/Lancer.   Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan visits NATO headquarters. 2009 Armenia starts contributing troops to ISAF in Afghanistan. 2010 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan visits NATO headquarters. Armenia hosts the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre’s civil emergency exercise in the Kotayk region near Yerevan. 2011 NATO and Armenia agree Armenia’s third IPAP 2012 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan visits NATO headquarters.   Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian attends a meeting at NATO’s Summit in Chicago in May, joining high-level representatives from countries that are supporting the NATO-led stabilization mission in Afghanistan.   In September, NATO Secretary General visits Armenia.
  • Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in NATO
    Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in NATO NATO has a long-standing commitment to an active policy in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The Alliance continues to pursue its security objectives through these policies, while at the same time ensuring that its collective defence obligations are met and the full range of its missions fulfilled. Allies participate actively in international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and agreements. NATO itself does not belong to any treaty as an entity but it continues to encourage its members, partners and other countries to implement their international obligations fully. NATO’s policies in these fields cover consultation and practical cooperation in a wide range of areas. These include conventional arms control; nuclear policy issues; promoting mine action and combating the spread of small arms and light weapons (SALW), munitions and man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS); preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and developing and harmonising capabilities to defend against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Arms control and disarmament are key elements of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Over the past two decades, Allies have significantly contributed to more stable international relations at lower levels of military forces and armaments, through effective and verifiable arms control agreements. At the Bucharest Summit in 2008, Allied leaders took note of a report on raising NATO’s profile in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. As part of a broader response to security issues, they agreed that NATO should continue to contribute to international efforts in these fields and keep these issues under active review. Subsequently these commitments were reaffirmed in the Strasbourg/Kehl Declaration in 2009 and the Lisbon Declaration in 2010. Definitions While often used together, the terms arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation do not mean the same thing. In fact, experts usually consider them to reflect associated, but different areas in the same discipline or subject. Arms control Arms control is the broadest of the three terms and generally refers to mutually agreed upon restraints or controls (usually between states) on the research, manufacture, or the levels of and/or locales of deployment of troops and weapons systems. Disarmament Disarmament, often inaccurately used as a synonym for arms control, refers to the act of eliminating or abolishing weapons (particularly offensive arms) either unilaterally (in the hope that one’s example will be followed) or reciprocally. Non-proliferation For the Alliance, “non-proliferation refers to all efforts to prevent proliferation from occurring, or should it occur, to reverse it by any other means than the use of military force.” 1  Non-proliferation usually applies to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which the Alliance defines as a weapon that is "capable of a high order of destruction and of being used in such a manner as to destroy people, infrastructure or other resources on a large scale." WMD proliferation Attempts made by state or non-state actors to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or devices and their means of delivery or related material, including precursors, without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the States Parties to the following agreements: the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC). 1. According to NATO’s Comprehensive, Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Defending Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats.. The ways in which NATO effectively participates NATO contributes to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in many ways: through its policies, its activities and through its member countries. Conventional forces Allies have reduced their conventional forces significantly from Cold War levels. Allies remain committed to the regime of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.  As a response to Russia`s unilateral “suspension” of its Treaty obligations in 2007, NATO CFE Allies have ceased implementing certain Treaty obligations vis-à-vis Russia in November 2011, while still continuing to implement fully their obligations with respect to all other CFE states parties. Allies stated that these decisions are fully reversible should Russia return to full implementation. At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, Allies reiterated their commitment to conventional arms control and expressed their determination to preserve, strengthen and modernise the conventional arms control regime in Europe, based on key principles and commitments. Nuclear forces NATO is committed to the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons – but reconfirms that, as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance. However, it will do so at the lowest possible level and with an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces. The nuclear weapons committed to NATO have been reduced by more than 95 per cent since the height of the Cold War. NATO nuclear weapon states have also reduced their nuclear arsenals and ceased production of highly enriched uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons. All Allies are parties to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and view it as an essential foundation for international peace and security. Armed forces Through its cooperation framework with non-member countries, the Alliance supports defence and security sector reform, emphasising civilian control of the military, accountability, and restructuring of military forces to lower, affordable and usable levels. Small arms and light weapons (SALW), and mine action Allies are working with non-member countries and other international organisations to support the full implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All its Aspects. NATO also supports mine action activities. All NATO member countries, with the exception of the United States, are party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, often referred to as the Ottawa Convention. NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund Policy was initiated in 2000 to assist countries in fulfilling their Ottawa Convention obligations to dispose of stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines. The policy was later expanded to include efforts to implement the UN Programme of Action on SALW. More recently, the Trust Fund Policy has also been expanded to include projects addressing the consequences of defence reform. NATO/Partnership Trust Funds may be initiated by a NATO member or partner country to tackle specific, practical issues linked to these areas. They are funded by voluntary contributions from individual NATO Allies, partners, contact countries and organisations. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) “With due respect to the primarily military mission of the Alliance, NATO will work actively to prevent the proliferation of WMD by State and non-State actors, to protect the Alliance from WMD threats should prevention fail, and be prepared for recovery efforts should the Alliance suffer a WMD attack or CBRN event, within its competencies and whenever it can bring added value, through a comprehensive political, military and civilian appoach.” 2 NATO stepped up its activities in this area in 1999 with the launch of the WMD Initiative and the establishment of a WMD Centre at NATO Headquarters the following year. NATO Allies have also taken a comprehensive set of practical initiatives to defend their populations, territory and forces against potential WMD threats. As part of NATO’s outreach to Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) partners, Mediterranean Dialogue countries, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries and other partner countries, the NATO Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is the only annual conference, sponsored by an international organisation, dealing with all types and aspects of weapons of mass destruction. Of particular importance is NATO’s outreach to and cooperation with the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), other regional organisations and multilateral initiatives that address WMD proliferation. 2. NATO’s Comprehensive, Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Defending Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats, Para 4. The evolution of NATO’s contribution to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation Active policies in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation have been an inseparable part of NATO’s contribution to security and stability since the Harmel Report of 1967. The Harmel Report This report formed the basis for NATO’s security policy. It outlined two objectives: maintaining a sufficient military capacity to act as an effective and credible deterrent against aggression and other forms of pressure while seeking to improve the East-West relations. The Alliance’s objectives in arms control have been tied to the achievement of both aims. It is therefore important that defence and arms control policies remain in harmony and are mutually reinforcing. The Comprehensive Concept of Arms Control and Disarmament In May 1989, NATO adopted a Comprehensive Concept of Arms Control and Disarmament, which allowed the Alliance to move forward in the sphere of arms control. It addressed the role of arms control in East-West relations, the principles of Alliance security and a number of guiding principles and objectives governing Allied policy in the nuclear, conventional and chemical fields of arms control. It clearly set out the interrelationships between arms control and defence policies and established the overall conceptual framework within which the Alliance sought progress in each area of its arms control agenda. The Alliance’s Strategic Concept NATO’s continued adherence to this policy was reaffirmed in the 2010 Strategic Concept (with regard to nuclear weapons): “It [This Strategic Concept] commits NATO to the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons – but reconfirms that, as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance.” The Strategic Concept, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010 continues, on a more general note: “NATO seeks its security at the lowest possible level of forces. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation contribute to peace, security and stability, and should ensure undiminished security for all Alliance members. We will continue to play our part in reinforcing arms control and in promoting disarmament of both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction, as well as non-proliferation efforts”. Defence and Deterrence Posture Review The NATO Defence and Deterrence Posture Review (DDPR), agreed at the Chicago Summit in 2012, addresses issues of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The DDPR document underscores: “The Alliance is resolved to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in a way that promotes international stability, and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all. “ It also repeats that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance. The Special Advisory and Consultative Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Committee (ADNC) was established on the basis of DDPR agreement. Summit declarations Allied leaders have reiterated this commitment in declarations made at previous summit meetings held in Washington (1999), Istanbul (2004), Riga (2006), Bucharest (2008), Strasbourg-Kehl (2009), Lisbon (2010), and Chicago (2012).  At the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit NATO Heads of State and Government endorsed NATO’s Comprehensive, Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Defending Against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats. The subject of arms control is also embedded in the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act and in the declaration made by Allied and Russian leaders at the 2002 Rome Summit, which set up the NATO-Russia Council. NATO bodies dealing with these issues A number of NATO bodies oversee different aspects of Alliance activities in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Overall political guidance is provided by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest political decision-making body. More detailed oversight of activities and policy in specific areas is provided by a number of bodies, including the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on Conventional Arms Control, the Special Advisory and Consultative Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Committee (ADNC), the Nuclear Planning Group High Level Group (NPG/HLG), the Verification Coordinating Committee (VCC), the Committee on Proliferation (CP) in politico-military as well as in defence format. Within NATO’s cooperative frameworks, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (in particular, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Mine Action) and the NATO-Russia Council (in particular, the Arms Control, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation (ADN) format) have central roles. (Note: work in the NATO-Russia Council is suspended.)
  • Arms control, NATO’s role in conventional -
    NATO’s role in conventional arms control NATO attaches great importance to conventional arms control and provides an essential consultative and decision-making forum for its members on all aspects of arms control and disarmament. The 2010 Strategic Concept of the Alliance reiterates the major role of arms control in achieving security objectives, the continued importance of harmonising defence and arms control policies and objectives and NATO’s commitment to the development of future arms control agreements. One of the most significant achievements in this sphere is the landmark 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). This Treaty is referred to as a "cornerstone of European security" and imposes for the first time in European history legal and verifiable limits on the force structure of its 30 States Parties which stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. Russia “suspended” its participation in the Treaty in December 2007. NATO also supports the implementation of a variety of confidence and security-building measures. These include the Vienna Document, a politically binding agreement designed to promote mutual trust and transparency about a state’s military forces and activities, and the Open Skies Treaty, which is legally binding and allows for unarmed aerial observation flights over a country’s territory. Although not all member states of the Alliance are a party to the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines, all members of the Alliance fully support its humanitarian demining goals. Moreover, the Alliance assists partner countries in the destruction of surplus stocks of mines, arms and munitions through a NATO/Partnership Trust Fund mechanism. The first decade of the new millennium has also witnessed two other major developments in the field of conventional arms control: the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the UN process “Towards an Arms Trade Treaty”. These initiatives mark the continuing importance and relevance of conventional arms control today for peace and security. Conventional arms control agreements The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty Since the CFE Treaty’s entry into force in 1992, the destruction of over 100,000 pieces of treaty-limited equipment (tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, attack helicopters and combat aircraft) has been verified and almost 6,000 on-site inspections have been conducted, thereby reaching its objective of creating balance and mitigating the possibility of surprise conventional attacks within its area of application. At the first CFE Review Conference in 1996, negotiations began to adapt the CFE Treaty to reflect the realities of the post-Cold War era. This process was completed in conjunction with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul in 1999. States Parties also agreed to additional commitments, called the Istanbul Commitments. Although the Adapted CFE (ACFE) Treaty went far in adjusting the Treaty to a new security environment, it was not ratified by Allied countries because of the failure of Russia to fully meet commitments regarding withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, on which Allies’ agreement to the adapted Treaty was based. At NATO summits and ministerial meetings since 2000, the Allies have reiterated their commitment to the CFE Treaty and have reaffirmed their readiness and commitment to ratify the Adapted Treaty. However, during the third CFE Review Conference, in June 2006, Russia expressed its concerns regarding ratification of the adapted CFE Treaty and claimed that even the ACFE was outdated. After the June 2007 Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty, the Russian president signed legislation on 14 July 2007 to unilaterally “suspend” its legal obligations under the CFE Treaty as of 12 December 2007. In response to these events, NATO offered a set of constructive and forward-looking actions. In 2008 and 2009, consultations were held between the United States on behalf of the Alliance and Russia, but with limited development. Further efforts to resolve the impasse were pursued on the basis of the United States’ initiative, which sought an agreement on a framework for negotiations on a modernised CFE Treaty, in consultations at 36 between all CFE States Parties and NATO member states not parties to the CFE Treaty. The process stalled in the autumn of 2011 because of the lack of agreement among parties. In a situation where no agreement could be reached to overcome the impasse, towards the end of November 2011, NATO CFE Allies announced their decisions to cease implementing certain CFE obligations vis-à-vis Russia, while still continuing to implement fully their obligations with respect to all other CFE States Parties. However, in the December 2011 foreign ministerial communiqué, Allies stated that these decisions were fully reversible should the Russian Federation return to full implementation. At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, Allies reiterated their commitment to conventional arms control and expressed determination to preserve, strengthen and modernise the conventional arms control regime in Europe, based on key principles and commitments. The Vienna Document Similarly, under the Vienna Document, thousands of inspections and evaluation visits have been conducted as well as airbase visits and visits to military facilities; also new types of armament and equipment have been demonstrated to the participating states of the Vienna Document. With an aim to reflect the contemporary security policy environment an updated version of the Vienna Document known as the Vienna Document 2011 was approved by the OSCE in December 2011. The Open Skies Treaty Under the Open Skies Treaty, more than 850 observation missions have been conducted since the Treaty’s entry into force in January 2002. Aerial photography and other material from observation missions provide transparency and support verification activities carried out on the ground under other treaties. This Treaty provides for extensive cooperation regarding the use of aircraft and their sensors, thereby adding to openness and confidence. Following long lasting negotiations the states parties to the Open Skies Treaty agreed, at the 2010 review conference, to allow the use of digital sensors in the future. However, these have to undergo a certification process, as foreseen by the Open Skies Treaty. This decision secures the future relevance of the Treaty, adds to its efficiency and reduces implementation costs. The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in All Its Aspects The proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) not only feeds global terrorist activities, but also encourages violence, thus affecting local populations and preventing constructive development and economic activities. SALW proliferation needs to be addressed as broadly as possible and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is a well-suited framework. The EAPC Ad Hoc Working Group on SALW and Mine Action contributes to international efforts to address the illicit trade in SALW and encourages efforts to fully implement international regulations and standards, including the United Nations Programme of Action (UN PoA). The UN PoA was adopted in July 2001 by nearly 150 countries, including all NATO member countries and contains concrete recommendations for improving national legislation and controls over illicit small arms, fostering regional cooperation and promoting international assistance and cooperation on the issue.  It was developed and agreed as a result of the growing realisation that most present-day conflicts are fought with illicit small arms and light weapons, and that their widespread availability has a negative impact on international peace and security, facilitates violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, and hampers economic and social development. It includes measures at the national, regional and global levels, in the areas of legislation, destruction of weapons that were confiscated, seized, or collected, as well as international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the ability of states in identifying and tracing illicit arms and light weapons. Every two years, the United Nations (UN) holds the Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action (BMS), to which NATO participates. National delegations from all member states gather every six years to review the progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action. The International Staff participated in this review on behalf of the EAPC in August 2012. Mine action The EAPC Ad Hoc Working Group on SALW and Mine Action also supports mine action efforts through Trust Fund projects and information-sharing. In particular, its guest speaker programme provides an opportunity for mine action experts to share their expertise with the Group. These speakers originate from national mine action centres, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations and have included high-profile experts, such as Nobel Laureate Ms Jody Williams, Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The Working Group has broadened its focus to also incorporate issues related to explosive remnants of war and cluster munitions onto its agenda. The Convention on Cluster Munitions The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. It became a legally binding international instrument when it entered into force on 1 August 2010. The Arms Trade Treaty In July 2012, UN member states gathered in New York to negotiate an arms trade treaty that would establish high common standards for international trade in conventional arms. Despite the efforts put forth by delegations during the four weeks of negotiations, the Conference could not reach agreement on a treaty text. Governments are now considering the next steps to conclude the negotiations in the not-so-distant future. This Treaty is intended to establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms. NATO stands ready to support the Arms Trade Treaty process as appropriate. NATO/Partnership Trust Fund projects The NATO/Partnership Trust Fund mechanism was originally established in 2000 to assist partner countries with the safe destruction of stocks of anti-personnel land mines. It was later extended to include the destruction of surplus munitions, unexploded ordnance and small arms and light weapons, and assisting partner countries in managing the consequences of defence reform. So far, NATO has contributed to the destruction of 4.5 million landmines, 31,000 tonnes of various munitions, 2 million hand grenades, 15.5 million cluster sub munitions, 1,470 man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), and 615,000 SALW alongside 162 million rounds of SALW ammunition. Trust Fund projects are initiated by a NATO member or partner country and funded by voluntary contributions from individual Allies, partners, contact countries, and organisations. A web-based information-sharing platform allows donors and recipient countries to share information about ongoing and potential projects. NATO bodies involved in conventional arms control There are a number of NATO bodies that provide a forum to discuss and take forward arms control issues. Arms control policy is determined within the deliberations of the High-Level Task Force (HLTF) on Conventional Arms Control, that was established for CFE and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs).  Implementation and verification of arms control agreements fall under the purview of the Verification Coordinating Committee (VCC), including overseeing a designated CFE verification database. The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) also has a working group for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. However, work of the NRC has been suspended since spring 2014 due to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Other fora include the Political Partnerships Committee and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Ad Hoc Working Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The NATO School Oberammergau (Germany) conducts 12 courses a year in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Most of them are also open to NATO’s partners across the globe.
  • Article 5 (''Collective defence'')
    Collective defence
  • Article 4 and the consultation process
    The consultation process and Article 4 All NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries. Consultation between member states is a key part of the decision-making process at NATO, allowing Allies to exchange views and information, and to discuss issues prior to reaching agreement and taking action. Consultations take place on all subjects of interest to the Alliance: developing new military capabilities and cooperative relationships with non-member countries, military operations etc. Discussions effectively touch on NATO’s day-to-day business, its core objectives and its fundamental role. Additionally, members are encouraged to bring subjects to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council (NAC). This prerogative is outlined in Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty:  “ The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened .” The consultation process is therefore at the heart of NATO. It reinforces the Alliance’s political dimension by giving members the opportunity to voice opinions and official positions, and it also gives NATO an active role in preventive diplomacy by providing the means to help avoid military conflict. Consultation is continuous and takes place both on a formal and informal basis. It  can happen quickly due to the fact that all member states have permanent delegations at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Governments  can come together at short notice whenever necessary, often with prior knowledge of their respective national preoccupations, in order to agree on common policies or take action on the basis of consensus. NATO’s network of committees facilitates consultation by enabling government officials, experts and administrators to come together on a daily basis to discuss a broad range issues. Different forms of consultation Consultation takes many forms. At its most basic level it involves simply the exchange of information and opinions. At another level it covers the communication of actions or decisions, which governments have already taken or may be about to take. Finally, it can encompass discussion with the aim of reaching a consensus on policies to be adopted or actions to be taken. The principle of consensus decision making is applied throughout NATO, which means that all “NATO decisions” are the expression of the collective will of all sovereign states that are members of this inter-governmental organisation. While consensus decision-making can help a member country preserve national sovereignty in the area of defence and security, Article 4 can be an invitation for member countries to concede this right to the group or it can simply lead to a request for NATO support. Article 4 Under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, member countries can bring an issue to the attention of the Council and discuss it with Allies. The article states: “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” Any member country can formally invoke Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty. As soon as it is invoked, the issue is discussed and can potentially lead to some form of joint decision or action on behalf of the Alliance. Whatever the scenario, fellow members sitting around the Council table are encouraged to react to a situation brought to their attention by a member country. Since the Alliance’s creation in 1949, Article 4 has been invoked several times. Once by Poland on 3 March 2014 following increasing tensions in neighbouring Ukraine. On two occasions in 2012, Turkey requested that the North Atlantic Council (NAC) convene under Article 4: once on 22 June after one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syrian air defence forces and the second time on 3 October when five Turkish civilians were killed by Syrian shells. Following these incidents, on 21 November, Turkey requested the deployment of Patriot missiles. NATO agreed to this defensive measure so as to help Turkey defend its population and territory, and help de-escalate the crisis along the border. Previously, on 10 February 2003, Turkey formally invoked Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, asking for consultations in the NAC on defensive assistance from NATO in the event of a threat to its population or territory resulting from armed conflict in neighbouring Iraq. NATO agreed a package of defensive measures and conducted Operation Display Deterrence from end February to early May 2003. The political dimension of NATO Encouraging members of an inter-governmental organisation who have not given up their right of free and independent judgment in international affairs to consult more systematically on an issue is a challenge – be it today or in the ‘50s. In the early ‘50s, the NAC recognised NATO’s consultative deficiency on international issues and recommended that measures be taken to improve the process. In April 1954, a resolution on political consultation was adopted: “... all member governments should bear constantly in mind the desirability of bringing to the attention of the Council information on international political developments whenever they are of concern to other members of the Council or to the Organization as a whole; and (...) the Council in permanent session should from time to time consider what specific subject might be suitable for political consultation at one of its subsequent meetings when its members should be in a position to express the views of their governments on the subject.” C-M(54)38. The resolution, which was put forward by Canada and immediately approved, provoked nonetheless a reaction from the American representative: “Mr. Dulles (United States) supported the Canadian resolution on the understanding that consultation would be limited within the bounds of common sense. Countries like his own with world-wide interests might find it difficult to consult other NATO governments in every case. For a sudden emergency, it was more important to take action than to discuss the emergency. In other words, consultation should be regarded as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.” (C-R(54)18). The reservations made by the United States, which no doubt were shared by other member countries, could still be voiced today. Building on this resolution, on 8 March 1956, the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Ismay, made a statement which widened the debate by explaining the consequences of systemising political consultation within the Alliance: “A direct method of bringing home to public opinion the importance of the habit of political consultation within NATO may be summed up in the proposition “NATO is a political as well as a military alliance”. The habitual use of this phraseology would be preferable to the current tendency to refer to NATO as a (purely) military alliance. It is also more accurate. To refer to NATO as a political alliance in no sense denies, depreciates or deprecates the fact that the alliance is also military.” (C-M(56)25-1956). The same year, the “Three Wise Men” produced their report, which inter alia sought to improve consultation within the Alliance on issues of common concern (Report of the Committee of Three on Non-Military Cooperation in NATO”). However, ironically it was published as the Suez crisis emerged. Suez severely divided the leading founding members of the Organization (France, the United Kingdom and the United States). The Suez crisis acted as a catalyst for NATO, leading it to put into practice something it knew was of vital importance for the unity and solidarity of the Alliance – political consultation. “Animus in consulendo liber” For its anecdotal value, it is worth noting that when NATO moved to its headquarters at the Porte Dauphine in Paris, December 1959, the Secretary General, M. Paul-Henri Spaak, enlisted the help of the Dean of the Council in finding a suitable Latin maxim which would capture the spirit of consultation between Allies to which he attached so much importance. The Dean, Belgian Ambassador André de Staercke, recalled a visit he had made to the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. There, in the Palazzo del Podestà, engraved on the back of the seat reserved for the man who presided over the destinies of the city, he had seen the motto: Animus in consulendo liber . It seems that an entirely satisfactory translation of the phrase cannot be found, although a French version “l’esprit libre dans la consultation” comes close. Renderings in English have ranged from the cryptic “in discussion a free mind” to the more complex “Man’s mind ranges unrestrained in counsel”. The motto adorned the conference area at the Porte de Dauphine for several years and, in 1967, was moved to NATO’s new home in Brussels, where it has since graced the wall of the Council room. Setting up a consultation system As explained above, consultation and consensus were accepted as the basis for all NATO decisions when the Alliance was created in 1949. However, it was only gradually that NATO set up a consultation system. In broad terms, this was done in three stages: 1949-1952: at the signing of the Treaty, NATO introduced the consultation process as a key principle in its working mechanisms. This was reinforced at the Lisbon Conference (1952) where the contours of today’s NATO were put into place: the NAC was made permanent and the position of Secretary General was created, together with an international staff that would support Council decisions on a permanent basis; 1952-1956: between 1952 and the publishing of the Committee of Three’s report on non-military cooperation, attempts had been made to encourage political consultation beyond the geographical limitations defined in the founding treaty, ie, beyond the defined NATO area. From 1956: the principles of the Report of the Committee of Three were further developed and implemented. The Committee recommended measures in the area of political cooperation with regard to foreign policies, the peaceful settlement of inter-member disputes, economic cooperation, scientific and technical cooperation, cultural cooperation and cooperation in the information field. The Committee of Three left a lasting legacy by encouraging NATO members to reconcile differences within the Organization through productive consultation on matters of common concern, including issues outside the defined NATO area. The Suez crisis provided a firsthand example of why close political consultation and non-military cooperation are necessary. The fora for political consultation The principal forum for political consultation is the North Atlantic Council, the NAC. The NAC is NATO’s principal political decision-making committee. The Secretary General, by virtue of his chairmanship, plays an essential part in this process. Consultation also takes place on a regular basis in other fora, including NATO committees and working groups. All of these bodies derive their authority from the Council.
  • Atlantic Treaty Association and Youth Atlantic Treaty Association, The -
    The Atlantic Treaty Association and Youth Atlantic Treaty Association The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an independent organization designed to support the values enshrined in the North Atlantic Treaty. Created 18 June 1954, the ATA is an umbrella organization for the separate national associations, voluntary organizations and non-governmental organizations that formed to uphold the values of the Alliance after its creation in 1949. Composed of Members, Associates Members and Observer Members, the ATA seeks to inform the public of NATO’s role in international peace and security. To achieve this goal, it holds international seminars and conferences and has launched several initiatives, including the Central and South Eastern European Security Forum, Ukrainian Dialogue and Crisis Management Simulations. The ATA is also an active participant in NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and Mediterranean Dialogue. The ATA has a youth division - the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) - which was formed in 1996. Although several of the Members and Associate Members had youth divisions prior to this date, the creation of YATA served to pull these separate divisions together to help coordinate activities. Similarly to the ATA, YATA seeks to inform the younger generation of NATO’s role in international security. The role of the ATA and YATA The ATA The ATA has several aims, including upholding the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty, promoting democracy, and educating and informing the public of NATO’s work and responsibilities. It also strives to promote solidarity between the people of the North Atlantic region, those in countries which have signed up to the Partnership for Peace Framework, those participating in the Mediterranean Dialogue and people who are directly concerned with Euro-Atlantic security. In addition to promoting increased solidarity, the ATA also seeks to increase cooperation between various organizations connected with Euro-Atlantic security, such as Member Associations of the ATA, the governments of Member Associations, the European Union, NATO and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. It also conducts research into NATO’s open door policy, i.e., enlargement and promotes the development of civil society in the Black Sea and Caucasus regions. The ATA encourages discourse and debate with the goal of establishing a solid comprehension of key Alliance issues. It also engages in a dialogue with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries that cooperate with the Alliance. In addition to this, it works to develop relations between organizations in different countries by connecting with civil society groups that support the basic principles of the North Atlantic Treaty and aiding in developing relations between its Members. YATA The ATA’s youth division - YATA – was formed in 1996 during the ATA’s General Assembly in Rome. It works in close cooperation with the ATA, supports its activities and shares its primary goals. They include educating and informing the public about issues concerning international security, supporting research into NATO’s role in the world and encouraging young leaders to shape the future of the transatlantic security relationship while promoting its importance. YATA also seeks to encourage cooperation between the youths of NATO member countries and partner countries, and between various international organizations to generate debate about the role of security institutions. Although YATA is officially part of the ATA, it also holds separate activities to achieve its objectives, such as its annual Atlantic Youth Seminars in Denmark (DAYS), Latvia (LAYS) and Portugal (PAYS), as well as Crisis Management Simulations and regional conferences. YATA also works with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division to organize international conferences and seminars where young leaders from the national YATA chapters are able to meet the NATO Secretary General, other NATO officials and Alliance leaders to discuss and debate transatlantic security issues. Working mechanisms Structure The ATA is composed of three main bodies: the Assembly, the Bureau and the Council, as well as the YATA and the Committee of Patrons. The Assembly The Assembly is the top decision-making body of the ATA. It is comprised of delegates from Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations. With the exception of Observer Members, each delegate has one vote and resolutions are passed by a simple majority. In addition to the delegates, members of the press and academic community, government and military officials, and international observers may attend the General Assembly meetings, which are held once a year. The Bureau The Bureau includes the President, Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Treasurer, YATA President and the Legal Adviser. Members of the Bureau assist in carrying out the decisions of the Council and the Assembly and aid in policy matters, in addition to developing relationships with other groups such as the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The Council Bureau members plus up to three delegates from each ATA Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations make up the Council. ATA allows the Council to take action on its behalf, with the recommendation of the Bureau and the approval of the Assembly. The Council holds two meetings a year: once at NATO Headquarters and once at the General Assembly. The YATA The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association is officially part of the ATA. It serves as the youth division of the ATA and has its own structure, activities and programmes. Similarly to the ATA, it has Members and Associate Members. The Committee of Patrons The Committee of Patrons is comprised of previous ATA Presidents and other people who have served ATA with merit. Officers The President of the ATA is in charge of the general policy of the Association, in addition to acting as its spokesperson. The Assembly, with input from the Council, elects the President for a three-year period. The Secretary General is in charge of day-to-day operations for the ATA, furthering its goals and aims, implementing the decisions of the Assembly, Council and the Bureau, and maintaining relationships with various other institutions. The Assembly, with input from the Council and the Bureau, elects the Secretary General for a three-year renewable period. The Assembly also elects the Treasurer, who is in charge of financial matters, for a renewable three-year period. Membership There are three different types of membership in ATA: Members, Associate Members and Observers. Members The national associations which come from NATO member countries may join the ATA as Members. As Members, they may attend and participate in Bureau, Council and Assembly meetings. They also have full voting rights. Currently Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are ATA Members. Associate Members The national associations that make up the Associate Members of ATA come from non-NATO countries that have signed up to PfP. Associate Members may attend and participate in Bureau, Council and Assembly meetings. Once an association’s respective country joins NATO, the association automatically becomes a Member. Much like Members, Associate Members also have full voting rights. Current Associate Members include Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ¹, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine. Observer Members Associations from non-NATO countries who have not signed up to PfP, but whose countries either participate in the Mediterranean Dialogue or have a direct interest in Euro-Atlantic security issues can still participate in the ATA under the status of Observer Members. As Observer Members, the national associations may attend and participate in Council and Assembly meetings, but not Bureau meetings. Also, unlike Members and Associate Members, Observer Members have no voting rights. Currently, only Israel is an Observer Member. 1. Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name. Evolution of the ATA Following the creation of the Alliance in 1949, several separate organizations in NATO member countries formed with the goal of informing the public of NATO’s activities and its role in international relations. Eventually the organizations came together under the umbrella of the Atlantic Treaty Association after its creation on 18 June 1954. Although previously focused on public debate and discussion about NATO’s activities during the Cold War, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and with it the Warsaw Pact, the ATA’s focus expanded. It now extends beyond the Euro-Atlantic region to include Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Caucasus and the Mediterranean regions. Several of the ATA’s more recent initiatives, such as the Central and South Eastern European Security Forum, Ukrainian Dialogue and Crisis Management Simulations, highlight this new focus. In addition to being an active participant in NATO’s PfP programme and the Mediterranean Dialogue, the ATA also hosts several international seminars and conferences each year in order to further its objectives. 1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  • Auditors for NATO (IBAN), International Board of -
    International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) The International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) is the independent, external audit body of NATO. Its main mandate is to provide the North Atlantic Council and the governments of NATO member countries with assurance that common funds have been properly used for the settlement of authorised expenditure. Guided by three core values - independence, integrity and professionalism - the IBAN strives to be the respected voice of accountability within NATO.  Tasks and responsibilities The IBAN is responsible for auditing the expenditure incurred by NATO. The IBAN conducts several types of audits: Financial audits of NATO bodies result in an audit opinion on the presentation of the financial statements and on the compliance with budgetary authorisations and applicable regulations. Performance audits are carried out to evaluate the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the activities and operations of NATO bodies. NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) audits cover the expenditure made by NATO bodies and member countries under the NISP. The audit results in the certification of the final amount charged to NATO. Working mechanisms The IBAN is composed of six Board Members, appointed by Council for a four-year, non-renewable term.  Board Members are usually members of their respective national audit institution or government officials with audit experience.  They have independent status and report only to the Council. The Chairman of the Board is appointed by the Council for a two-year term.  The Board is assisted by auditors and secretarial staff with NATO International Staff status. IBAN Board Members (from left to right) Mr Jan Vylita (Czech Republic), Mr Marius Winters (The Netherlands), Dr Charilaos Charisis (Chairman, Greece), Mrs Kirsten Astrup (Norway), Mr Salih Tanrikulu (Turkey), Mr Marcus Popplewell (United Kingdom)
  • Australia, NATO cooperation with -
    NATO cooperation with Australia Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (October 2010). Over recent years, NATO has developed relations with a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. Australia is counted among these countries, which are referred to as “partners across the globe”. Building on dialogue and cooperation that has been developed since 2005, NATO and Australia signalled their commitment to strengthen cooperation in a joint political declaration in June 2012. This was followed up with the signature of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme in February 2013. The Strategic Concept adopted at the 2010 Lisbon Summit paved the way for a more flexible partnership policy offering all partners the same basis of cooperation and dialogue. The establishment of a single Partnership Cooperation Menu open to all NATO partners enabled Australia to access a wide range of cooperation activities with the Alliance and to formalise its relations with NATO through the development of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme tailored to the country’s interests. NATO and Australia have underlined their shared interest in forging a closer strategic partnership. Beyond cooperation on global challenges, the two sides also agree to work closely on crisis and conflict management, post-conflict situations, reconstruction and facilitating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Practical cooperation Australia is making a valuable and significant contribution to the NATO-led ISAF mission to stabilise Afghanistan. With some 1100 Australian Defence Force personnel deployed, Australia is one of the largest non-NATO contributors of troops to ISAF. As part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan, Australian personnel have provided security and deliver reconstruction and community-based projects. Additionally, Australia’s Special Operations Task Group has been operating in direct support of ISAF elements in Uruzgan province. In addition to its contribution to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, Australia and NATO have also worked together on several projects. In 2010, Australia contributed to a NATO Trust Fund project designed to clear unexploded ordinances in Saloglu, Azerbaijan. Australia is also the leading contributor to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, having pledged €150 million to the fund. The Australian navy is also currently cooperating with NATO’s Counter-Piracy Task Force to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia as part of Operation Ocean Shield. Dialogue and consultation To support cooperation, Australia designated its Ambassador in Brussels as its representative to NATO.  It also appointed a defence attaché in Brussels and a military representative to NATO. NATO and Australia have also concluded an agreement on the protection of classified information. Cooperation is also underpinned by regular high-level political dialogue. In 2005, the then NATO Secretary General visited Australia. Then Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer addressed the North Atlantic Council in 2005 and 2006. Former Foreign Minister Stephen Smith met the NATO Secretary General several times and also subsequently in his capacity as Defence Minister.  He addressed the North Atlantic Council in December 2008. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also participated in the NATO summit meeting in Bucharest in April 2008. As foreign minister, he visited NATO on several occasions, and addressed the North Atlantic Council in January 2012.  His successor as foreign minister, Bob Carr, had his first meeting with the Secretary General in April the same year. Current Prime Minister Julia Gillard made her first trip to NATO in October 2010 to discuss ISAF’s efforts in Afghanistan with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. She and Defence Minister Stephen Smith also participated in the November 2010 Lisbon Summit, and both were present at the Chicago Summit in May 2012. NATO’s Secretary General visited Australia in June 2012 to thank the country for its operational support and to discuss how to strengthen further the security partnership. Video Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces key milestone in Afghanistan 29 Oct. 2013 newYTPlayer('MReS6DMZ59A','77473',530,300); At a ceremony in Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the closure of the Australian-lead Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT in Uruzgan, marking an important milestone in the Australian mission in Afghanistan. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces key milestone in Afghanistan 29 Oct. 2013 At a ceremony in Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the closure of the Australian-lead Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT in Uruzgan, marking an important milestone in the Australian mission in Afghanistan. Building Afghanistan`s Future Generation 26 Feb. 2013 For Afghan kids living in Uruzgan this Australian-led trade school will help give them the skills to rebuild their nation. Students at the school are keen to use their new-found trade skills to help other people in the community and Afghanistan as a whole Aussie Team Plays Afghan Rules 21 Feb. 2013 The Australian and American Commanders at Task Force Uruzgan say the Afghan Army must build upon on its own sustainable procedures and draw from the knowledge of Afghan commanders. It should not try to be a mirror of the coalition. NATO and Australia – Partners in Security 13 Jun. 2012 Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the National Press Club, Canberra, Australia Visiting a valued partner 13 Jun. 2012 Blog by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Afghan students learn skills for life in Uruzgan 20 Dec. 2011 Afghan boys learn the basics of plumbing, carpentry and painting at the Trade Training school in Tarin Kowt, capital of Uruzgan Province. The school is backed by the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan and run by the Australian Defense Forces. Mentoring Afghan Logistics Specialists 06 Dec. 2011 ISAF Mentoring team (Slovaks, Australians, US) trains Afghans in Combat Service Support Battalion (Logistics). Train Medics, Mechanics, Transport and Communication Teams in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Press point with the NATO Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Australia 04 Oct. 2010 On 4th October 2010 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed in the Alliance HQ in Brussels the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard. Australians bring winter sun 07 Jan. 2010 Australian forces are making the harsh Afghan winters a bit more bearable for orphans in Kabul. Australian soldiers in Sorkh Mugarb 26 Jun. 2009 Sorkh Mugarb is undergoing a complete renovation by Australian ISAF forces. The town, in Uruzgan province, has just had a new bazaar built. Teaching the trade in Uruzgan 24 Jun. 2009 Australian soldiers run a trade training school in Tarin Kowt, to teach local Afghans craft skills. Intelligent Officers 27 May. 2009 This story looks at how Australian mentors are helping Afghan officers improve their intelligence-gathering skills. Mentoring the Men 26 May. 2009 This story looks at the challenges and progress for an Australian Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT) working with the Afghan National Army (ANA). A New Force 25 Aug. 2009 This story looks at the overall work of the new Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF), provided by the Australian contingent in Afghanistan. Money in the Bank 25 May. 2009 In Afghanistan, the Australians have developed a new payment system for Afghan soldiers, ensuring they have money in the bank.
  • Austria, NATO’s relations with
    NATO’s relations with Austria NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the President of Austria, Heinz Fischer (June 2011) NATO-Austria relations are conducted through the Partnership for Peace framework, which Austria joined in 1995. NATO and Austria actively cooperate in peace support operations, and have developed practical cooperation in a range of areas. NATO highly values its relations with Austria. The Allies view Austria as an effective partner and contributor to international security, which shares key values such as the promotion of international security, democracy and human rights. Austria selects areas of practical cooperation with NATO that match joint objectives. An important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Austria has worked alongside the Allies in security and peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and currently has personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Framework for cooperation NATO and Austria detail areas of cooperation and timelines in Austria’s Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, humanitarian and disaster relief, and search and rescue operations. The IPP is soon to be replaced by an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) in accordance with NATO’s new partnership policy. Austria runs the Centre for Operations Preparation, a Partnership Training and Education Centre. It also leads the Balkans Regional Working Group in the framework of the PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (a voluntary association which works “in the spirit of PfP”, funded by Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the United States). Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation In 1996, Austrian forces joined those of NATO Allies in securing the peace negotiated in the Dayton agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping forces there until 2001. Austria is currently contributing a mechanized company and support units to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR), amounting to over 400 troops. Austria took command of KFOR’s Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S) in early 2008. Austrian forces joined the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002, providing expertise and logistical support. Throughout 2005, Austria deployed troops to work alongside the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz province to provide security for the Afghan parliamentary elections. Austria has made a number of units available for potential PfP operations. In each case, deployment must be authorized by the Austrian Council of Ministers and approved by the Main Committee of the Austrian Parliament. Defence and security sector reform Participating in peacekeeping and peace support operations alongside NATO Allies has reinforced Austria’s own process of military transformation. The PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) influences and reinforces Austrian planning activities. Through PARP, Austria has declared an increasing number of forces and capabilities as potentially available for NATO-led operations. Austria’s ability to take part in peace support operations is further enhanced by its participation in the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) process. The Allies and other partners also benefit from Austrian expertise. The country is contributing to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform activities, with a special emphasis on the Balkan region. Austria has contributed to Trust Fund projects in other Partner countries. Along with individual Allies and Partners, Austria has made contributions to voluntary trust funds to support, for example, the destruction of mines and/or munitions in Albania, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of cooperation. The aim is for Austria to be able to cooperate with NATO Allies in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of major accidents or disasters in the Euro-Atlantic area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, as well as humanitarian disaster relief operations. Science and environment Under the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Austria have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Since 2005, Austrian personnel have participated in over 20 activities. Topics have included preparedness against bio-terrorism, strengthening influenza pandemic preparedness and emerging biological threats. Public information In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Austria is the embassy of Croatia. Evolution in milestones 1995 Austria signs the Partnership for Peace Framework Document. 1996 Austria joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP)   Austria deploys peacekeepers to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1997 Austria opens a diplomatic mission at NATO Headquarters.          1999 Austrian forces participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR. 2002 H.E. Dr Thomas Klestil, the President of Austria, meets NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at NATO HQ on 3 July to exchange views on key issues in international security. Austrian forces join the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2004 During a visit to Vienna on 18 November, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer praised Austria for its contribution to NATO’s missions and Partnership for Peace programme. 2005 Austria has increased the units declared for NATO/PfP missions. In the future they will consist of a framework brigade. 2008 Austria takes command of KFOR’s Multinational Task Force South (MNTF-S). 2011 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visits Vienna on 30 June 2011 and met President Heinz Fischer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger and Minister of Defence Norbert Darabos. They discussed the partnership between NATO and Austria, the situation in the western Balkans and the NATO-led operations in Libya and Afghanistan. Rasmussen expressed strong appreciation for Austria’s substantial contribution to the NATO-led mission in Kosovo and for its constructive role in the western Balkans and its firm commitment to the region.
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  • Azerbaijan, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Azerbaijan NATO and Azerbaijan actively cooperate on democratic, institutional and defence reforms, and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) lays out the programme of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO. Azerbaijan is seeking to achieve Euro-Atlantic standards and to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions. Consequently, support to security sector reform and democratic institution building are key elements of NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. Another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Azerbaijan currently contributes troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. In the past, it also actively supported the operation in Kosovo. Framework for cooperation Cooperative activities, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. Key areas of cooperation include good governance and democratic control of the defence and security sector, defence planning and budgeting and the reorganization of the armed forces structure using NATO standards. Beyond supporting reform, another key objective of NATO’s cooperation with Azerbaijan is to develop the ability of the country’s forces to work together with forces from NATO countries. Azerbaijan also cooperates with NATO and Partner countries in a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Thanks to regular participation in PfP activities, Azerbaijan has been able to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations. From 1999 to 2008, troops from Azerbaijan were part of the NATO-led operation in Kosovo (KFOR). Azerbaijan actively supports the ISAF operation in Afghanistan since 2002, where it has gradually increased its forces to about 95 personnel. An infantry company, deminers, medical assistant and staff officers from Azerbaijan are serving alongside NATO forces, as part of a Turkish contingent, in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan also contributes to the NATO-ANA (Afghan National Army) Trust Fund. Azerbaijan has declared a number of units available for PfP activities, on a case by case basis. These include infantry units, combat support and combat service support units and two medium transport helicopters. The Internal Troops, in cooperation with NATO, are also developing a police support unit to be made available for NATO-led operations. Azerbaijan contributes to the fight against terrorism through its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T). This includes sharing intelligence and analysis with NATO, and cooperating with the Allies on enhancing national counter-terrorist training capabilities and improving border and infrastructure security. Information exchange through NATO’s terrorist threat intelligence unit is being developed. Azerbaijan is also working to establish an international Anti-Terrorism Training Centre at the Academy of the Ministry of National Security. Azerbaijan aims to improve maritime security and its capabilities to reduce illegal activities in the Caspian Sea in cooperation with some NATO member countries and some regional Partner countries. NATO nations also support efforts to improve border security. NATO has no direct role in negotiations aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which are being conducted in the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group. However, NATO takes an interest in this process and encourages all sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Peaceful resolution of conflicts is a core value of NATO, and is one of the core commitments that all Partner countries commit to when joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP). Defence and security sector cooperation Defence and security sector reforms are crucial to the development of Azerbaijan and its goal of achieving Euro-Atlantic standards as well as its increasing Euro-Atlantic cooperation. This is an area in which NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise which Azerbaijan can draw upon. A key priority is working to strengthen democratic and civilian control over the armed forces. NATO is also supportive of the wider democratic and institutional reform process underway in Azerbaijan. With NATO advice, Azerbaijan has developed strategic documents on defence and security, which will support and provide guidance during the conduct of the Strategic Defence Review. Consultations are also underway on the necessary steps for improving other areas of defence planning and budgeting. NATO and individual Allies continue to assist Azerbaijan in developing selected units so they are interoperable with those of the Allies. Azerbaijan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP), since 1997, has been instrumental in the development of the Peacekeeping Battalion and a detachment of two helicopters is now supporting the development of the Mobile Battalion , which would potentially be available for the full spectrum of NATO operations. Consultations are ongoing on Azerbaijan’s military education structures and methods, since the Ministry of Defence is interested in adapting these to meet NATO standards. Within and alongside the PARP process, NATO and Azerbaijan are cooperating on reorganizing units in accordance with NATO standards and on improving the command and control capabilities of each of the armed services and improving logistics. NATO and Azerbaijan continue to cooperate on the demilitarisation of unexploded ordnance. In 1991, a major explosion at a former Soviet munitions facility in the Agstafa region spread unexploded ordnance over a large area. With technical and financial support from NATO, more than 5.68 million square meters of the contaminated area was cleared, on both the surface and in the subsurface. In addition to this, some 640 000 pieces of unexploded ordnance were cleared. The five-and-a-half-year Trust Fund project was completed in June 2011. A further project of this kind was launched in 2012 to clear unexploded ordnance from a former Soviet live firing range in the Jeyranchel region. The project will focus on clearing a 19 square kilometre section of the area over a 28-month period. Much like the previous Trust Fund project, NAMSA is directing the project, with Azerbaijani National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) working on the ground as the executing agency. Civil emergency planning In cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Azerbaijan is developing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities. Azerbaijan’s special search-and-rescue platoon has participated in several exercises organised by the EADRCC. In addition, Civil Emergency Planning experts from NATO and NATO nations are providing advice to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations on a number of issues, including organisational issues, and CBRN defence. Azerbaijan is developing two units (search and rescue and CBRN) to be on high readiness and ready to be deployed on disaster relief operations. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Azerbaijan has received grant awards for about 30 cooperative projects and has had leading roles in 87 activities, with even more joining various cooperative activities as participants and key speakers. Projects include collaboration on improving trans-boundary water quality, protecting drinking water supply from terrorism, identifying the earthquake vulnerability of segments of two important pipelines running through Azerbaijan, and mitigating the effects of earthquakes in the Caucasus region by improving seismic hazard and risk. In addition, Azeri and international experts participated in an SPS training course entitled “Crisis Management National Capacity Building: an Essential Element in the Fight against Terrorism” in June 2009 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan also participated in the Virtual Silk Highway project, which aims to increase internet access for academic and research communities in countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through a satellite-based network. NATO has also supported the conversion of stocks of mélange – a highly toxic and corrosive rocket fuel oxidizer, formerly used by Warsaw Pact Countries – into a harmless chemical. In response to a request from Azerbaijan for assistance, NATO sent a transportable conversion plant, which was officially inaugurated in July 2006. This project was successfully concluded in 2008. Public information Another key area of cooperation is to improve access to information and increasing public awareness of NATO and the benefits of NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. Since 2003, NATO has been co-sponsoring a summer school in Baku. Programmes developed year on year, leading to the establishment of the NATO International School in Azerbaijan (NISA) in 2005. Seminar topics have included transatlantic energy security, regional security and financial security issues. NISA continues to be an active and productive forum on international security issues for students from Azerbaijan and beyond, organizing NATO-related conferences and workshops twice a year. The Diplomatic Academy of Azerbaijan (ADA) is also very active in promoting cooperation with NATO. Visits to NATO Headquarters of opinion formers from Azerbaijan take place on an annual basis. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Azerbaijan is the embassy of Romania.   Evolution in milestones 1992 Azerbaijan joins the newly created North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. 1994 Azerbaijan joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP), a programme aimed at increasing security and defence cooperation between NATO and individual Partner countries.  1997 Azerbaijan joins the PfP Planning and Review Process. 1999 Azerbaijan sends a unit to support the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo. 2001 Azerbaijan hosts a multinational PfP military training exercise “Cooperative Determination 2001”. 2002 Azerbaijan sends a unit to support the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. 2003 Azerbaijan is connected to the Virtual Silk Highway. 2004 At the Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders place special focus on the Caucasus – a special NATO representative and a liaison officer are assigned to the region.   President Aliyev presents Azerbaijan’s first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) paper to NATO in Brussels. 2005 Azerbaijan begins its first IPAP with NATO. 2006 The Euro-Atlantic Centre (NATO information centre) is officially opened in Baku.   A NATO PfP Trust Fund project is launched to clear unexploded ordnances from a former military base at Saloglu, Agstafa district.   President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, visits NATO Headquarters. 2008 The Mélange Project is successfully concluded.   Azerbaijan and NATO agree the second IPAP document.   Azerbaijan withdraws troops from KFOR. The Azerbaijani military contingent in Afghanistan is increased to about 45 personnel. 2009 President Aliyev visits NATO HQ and meets with the North Atlantic Council   The Azerbaijani military contingent in Afghanistan is doubled to about 90 personnel. 2010 Preparation of third Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO   The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, visits NATO Headquarters. 2011 The five-and-a-half-year SPS project to clear unexploded ordinance is completed in June.   NATO and Azerbaijan agree their third Individual Partnership Action Plan. 2012 The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, visits NATO Headquarters.   The President of Azerbaijan attends a meeting at NATO’s Summit in Chicago in May, joining counterparts from countries that are supporting the NATO-led stabilization mission in Afghanistan.   In September, NATO Secretary General visits Azerbaijan.