Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) - Initiative Adoption of the NAMO charter
Note by the Secretary General
- Following our discussion during the Council meeting in Ministerial session regarding the Strategic Airlift Capability initiative, Ministers welcome and endorse the legal and political commitment of member States of the NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO) that member States of NATO that do not participate in NAMO shall bear no responsibility vis-à-vis NATO and third parties for the costs, expenses, and liabilities of any kind arising from the implementation of the Airlift Management Programme or the use and the maintenance of the SAC aircraft.
- It is accordingly agreed that only the member States of NAMO shall jointly and directly assume responsibility vis-à-vis NATO, and shall bear any resulting cost and liability for the implementation of the Airlift Management Programme, notwithstanding the fact that NAMO will be established, by the Council, pursuant to Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty and within the meaning of the Ottawa Agreement1 and will share in the international legal personality of NATO as well as the juridical personality possessed by NATO by virtue of Article IV of the Ottawa Agreement.
- Ministers further recalled the statement by Heads of State and Government at Riga endorsing multinational initiatives by NATO members and Partners including the already operational Strategic Airlift Interim Solution, the intent of a consortium to pool C-17 airlift assets, and offers to coordinate support structures for A-400M strategic airlift. Nationally, Allies have or plan to acquire a large number of C-17 and A-400M aircraft. The Ministers understand that the multinational consortium to pool C-17 airlift assets, the Strategic Airlift Capability, which would be implemented through NAMO, stands on an equal footing with other multinational initiatives.
- The Ministers agree that NATO ownership does not foreclose, or create any preference with respect to, any other aircraft acquisition or initiative. This is a NATO-owned but multinationally operated capability. The decision to approve NATO ownership of such capability is not a decision that NATO will operate this capability.
- The Ministers agree further that although prior Council approval will be required for the participation of a Partnership for Peace (PfP) State in the Airlift Management Programme, this principle will not apply to Sweden and Finland, whose participation will be approved upon adoption of the NAMO Charter by the Council.
- Considering the above common understandings subscribed by the Council, I propose that the Council adopt the NAMO Charter.