The ASF, which is intended to be deployed in Africa in times of crisis, is part of the AU’s efforts to develop long-term peacekeeping capabilities. This continental force is expected to reach full operational capability by 2015 and could be seen as an African contribution to wider international efforts to preserve peace and security.
How NATO support has developedNATO has received several Note Verbale from the AU regarding continued NATO support to the ASF – capacity-building support and support for the operationalization of the force.
On 5 September 2007, as part of NATO’s capacity-building support to the AU, the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s top political decision making body - agreed to provide assistance to the AU with a study on the assessment of the operational readiness of the ASF brigades.
In addition to this initial support and at the request of the AU, NATO has also assisted with the translation from English into Portuguese of African Standby Force documentation.
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.
Joint Force Command Lisbon – the designated NATO HQ to implement the Alliance’s practical cooperation with the AU – has also organized certification/ evaluation training programmes for AU staff. For instance, it has trained AU officials in charge of the ongoing AMANI AFRICA Command Post Exercise (13 October – 3 November 2010) in Addis Ababa and is providing military experts to assist in the evaluation and lessons learned procedures of the exercise.
At the AU’s request, NATO has also participated and supported various ASF preparatory workshops designed to develop ASF-related concepts.NATO is also a member of the G8++ forum. The G8++ brings together the group of partners supporting the AU in the area of peace and security. It includes international organizations and individual countries.