Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative

  • Last updated: 05 Jun. 2023 13:37

The Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative reinforces NATO’s commitment to partners and helps project stability by providing support to countries requesting assistance from NATO. DCB helps partners improve their defence and related security capacities, as well as their resilience, and, therefore, contributes to the security of the Alliance. It can include various types of support, ranging from strategic advice on defence and security sector reform and institution-building, to development of local forces through education and training, or advice and assistance in specialised areas such as logistics or cyber defence.


  • The DCB Initiative was launched in September 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales.
  • The Initiative is demand-driven and tailored to the needs of the recipient nations by providing support which reinforces and exceeds what is offered through other existing programmes.
  • The Initiative builds on NATO’s extensive track record and expertise in advising, assisting, training and mentoring countries that require defence and related security capacity building support. It uses NATO’s unique defence expertise to provide and coordinate practical specialised support.
  • Good progress continues on the DCB packages for Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, the Republic of Moldova and Tunisia.
  • In April 2020, NATO Foreign Ministers endorsed the DCB package for UN Peacekeeping Training.
  • The packages are implemented with the support of Allies and partners, who provide advisors, trainers and coordinators to work with the recipient countries, and help fund projects. A dedicated DCB Trust Fund is in place, since 2015, to provide financial support to the Initiative.
  • NATO has also received a request for DCB support from Libya. NATO stands ready to provide advisory support to Libya when conditions permit.


Cooperation with DCB partners

NATO has been providing capacity-building through a number of partnership programmes and also as part of its operations and missions. The DCB Initiative enhances this role by allowing NATO to undertake DCB activities in support of partner countries, other non-partner countries or international organisations.  Any NATO assistance is provided following a specific request by the recipient country – which is then thoroughly assessed and considered by the North Atlantic Council – and relies on mutual political commitment and local ownership. If existing programmes cannot accommodate the request, then the Alliance may consider offering a tailored set of assistance measures, namely a specific “DCB package”. Six DCB packages have been launched thus far.  Additionally, NATO has received a request for DCB support from Libya.



The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) – the DCB package for Georgia – was agreed in 2014 at the Wales Summit and intensified in 2016 at the Warsaw Summit. After five years of successful implementation, the SNGP was refreshed in 2020 in line with current priorities of both Georgia and the Alliance in order to make the package even more ambitious.

For example, the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) has moved from mentorship to partnership with NATO’s Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC). The partnership agreement provides the JTEC and JFTC with an opportunity to continue working together under a new framework, much broader than previous collaboration, in preparation for a series of NATO-Georgia exercises. 

The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package aims to support the following objectives:

  • to act as a catalyst for the implementation of Georgia’s defence reforms;
  • to enhance Georgia’s interoperability with NATO;
  • to support the country’s efforts to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security;
  • to enhance accountability and transparency;
  • to enhance Georgia’s resilience;
  • to enhance the country’s interagency coordination and interaction;
  • to bring Georgia closer to the Alliance.

The refreshed package encompasses most domains (air, land, sea and cyberspace) and includes support activities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels, including the conduct of regular joint NATO-Georgia exercises. It includes a wide range of initiatives: acquisition, air defence, aviation, crisis management, cyber defence, Defence Institution Building School, English language capability development, maritime security, military engineering, military medical capacity development, military police, NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, secure communications and intelligence exchange, Special Operations Forces, standardization and codification, and strategic communications.

The SNGP is currently supported by all Allies and two partners, who all together provide more than 40 experts, resident or frequently traveling to Georgia. A four-person Core Team in Tbilisi coordinates the implementation of the package.  


The DCB package for Iraq was agreed in July 2015 following a request from the Iraqi Prime Minister. At the request of the Iraqi Prime Minister and based on Allies’ decision at the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, the training and capacity-building activities were transferred inside Iraq with a “train-the-trainer” focus.

NATO support focused on the following areas: countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED), explosive ordnance disposal and demining; civil-military planning support to operations; reform of the Iraqi security institutions; technical training on the maintenance of Soviet-era armoured vehicles; military medicine and medical assistance; advice on security sector reform; and civil-military planning support to operations. The activities conducted ranged from multiple workshops on civil-military cooperation and “train-the-trainer” courses to Iraqi instructors to senior leaders’ seminars on C-IED and advice on the transformation and good governance of the defence sector.

Responding to a request from the Government of Iraq for additional support in its efforts to stabilise the country and fight terrorism, at the Brussels Summit in July 2018, Allies decided to intensify the level of support for Iraq by launching a non-combat and capacity-building mission in Iraq. Building on previous capacity-building activities, the NATO Training Mission Iraq advised relevant Iraqi officials, primarily in the Ministry of Defence, the Office of the National Security Advisor and the Prime Minister’s National Operations Center, and trained and advised instructors at professional military education institutions to help Iraq develop more effective national security structures and professional military education institutions.


The DCB assistance for Jordan builds upon the already extensive level of cooperation between NATO and Jordan through various partnership tools. The initial DCB package was agreed in 2014 at the Wales Summit and revised in 2017, addressing the evolving security needs of Jordan. The DCB Package for Jordan is currently being reviewed to further adapt to Jordan’s needs.

The DCB package currently focuses on the areas of information protection, cyber defence, military exercises, C-IED, personnel management, logistics system, civil preparedness/ crisis management and border security. Allies also agreed to enhance the counter-terrorism dimension of the DCB package with the inclusion of the following areas: strategic-level counter-terrorism training and education; small arms and light weapons; strategic communications; and terrorists’ misuse of the internet.

The support provided, particularly on C-IED, cyber defence and exercises, has produced tangible improvements.  A Computer Emergency Response Team has been established for the Jordanian Armed Forces, which has a nation-wide responsibility. Jordan successfully hosted the NATO Regional Exercise 2017 (REGEX 2017), the first NATO exercise held in a Mediterranean Dialogue country. Over 200 military and law enforcement personnel have been trained. NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme has also supported the implementation of the DCB package, particularly in the area of C-IED, cyber defence and border security.

NATO has been assisting the Jordanian National Centre for Security and Crisis Management in achieving full operational capability. Since March 2020, the Centre has been central in successfully coordinating Jordan’s whole-of-government response to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, making use of the plans, procedures and tools introduced with NATO assistance.

A two-person DCB Core Team will be established in Jordan, in the course of 2021.

Republic of Moldova

Following the commitment made at the 2014 Wales Summit, the DCB package for the Republic of Moldova was launched in June 2015. At the NATO Madrid Summit in June 2022, Allies agreed on a package of tailored support measures with the aim of strengthening Moldova’s resilience and developing its security and defence capabilities. As a result, an Enhanced DCB Package for Moldova was endorsed by NATO Defence Ministers during their February 2023 meeting.

The Enhanced DCB Package addresses additional requirements identified by Moldova, adding new areas of work as part of a whole-of-government approach. This new package responds to the deteriorating security environment in light of Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Within this new package, NATO will support Moldova in various areas, including strategic planning; human resource management; professional development of civilian personnel; Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) corps development; standardization of training and logistics; defence resource management; ammunition physical security and stockpile management;  civil emergency planning and preparedness; defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats; countering improvised explosive devices; cyber security; strategic communications; and development of the Moldovan Carabinieri. 

This Enhanced DCB Package builds upon Moldova’s ongoing engagement with NATO’s Building Integrity programme to develop defence sector institutions. Similarly, it builds upon NATO’s first DCB package where NATO advised and assisted with the establishment of a national defence strategy, a military strategy and a force structure for the country. NATO has also been providing DCB support in the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

The assistance that NATO provides to Moldova is based on concrete requests for support expressed by the Moldovan authorities and is in full respect of the country’s constitutional neutrality.


In response to the request from the Tunisian authorities, Allies approved at the 2018 Brussels Summit the DCB Package for Tunisia. The package includes NATO support in the areas of cyber defence, countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED), chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence; promoting transparency in resource management as well as fostering interoperability with NATO.

The implementation of the DCB package continues mainly through education and training activities and the exchange of expertise and best practices, in line with NATO standards. It is further supported by, inter alia, NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme, particularly in the area of C-IED, cyber defence and CBRN defence.

United Nations

In April 2020, NATO Foreign Ministers endorsed the DCB Package for UN Peacekeeping Training. NATO capacity-building support consists of four areas: military performance evaluation; medical care; C-IED; and signals and information and communications technology.

The package aims to strengthen the capacity of the UN to mount and sustain peacekeeping operations by enhancing the operational performance, and safety and security of UN Peacekeepers. It will contribute, inter alia, to enhancing the capacities of the UN Regional Service Centre in Entebbe, Uganda, which the UN is developing into a training hub for UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.


DCB Trust Fund

The DCB Trust Fund was established in 2015 to provide financial support and resources to implement the DCB Initiative. The Trust Fund allows Allies and partners to contribute, on a voluntary basis, to the implementation of projects developed in support of the packages. It has proven to be an important enabler to kick-start DCB activities. Since the establishment of the DCB Trust Fund, it has facilitated 24 projects and is currently supporting another 28 projects.