Allies take steps to create multinational Special Forces command

  • 16 Feb. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 16 Feb. 2017 14:23

Three NATO Allies are strengthening their defence cooperation, with a new agreement to explore the creation of a multinational command for Special Operations Forces, intended to begin its work in 2019. The Defence Ministers of Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands signed the agreement on Thursday (16 February 2017) in the margins of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels. This multinational command will be able to lead and coordinate Special Operations Forces task groups within a small joint operation scenario.

Left to right: NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Minister of Defence, THe Netherlands) with Claus Hjort Frederiksen (Minister of Defence, Denmark) and Steven Vandeput (Minister of Defence, Belgium)

During a signing ceremony, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller welcomed the initiative as timely and valuable. “This tri-national effort reflects the reality that Special Operations Forces today operate increasingly in a multinational context,” she said. “The ability to command our Special Forces effectively is as important as the forces themselves, and NATO has made it a priority”, Ms. Gottemoeller added.

The new command will be developed in line with NATO standards, leveraging the expertise of NATO’s Special Operations Headquarters in Mons, Belgium. While primarily intended for NATO operations, the command could support United Nations and other multinational operations.