NATO bodies involved
The Young Professionals Programme is a NATO-wide initiative which gives participants the possibility to work in one or several related areas in three different NATO bodies, spending one year in each. Read more about the participating NATO bodies and their work in the sections below.
The International Staff (IS) is an advisory and administrative body situated mainly in the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. It is headed by the NATO Secretary General, and its role is to provide advice, guidance and administrative support to the national delegations at NATO Headquarters and to support the North Atlantic Council (Council or NAC) – NATO's top political decision-making body. The IS helps to implement decisions taken at different committee levels and, in doing so, supports the process of consensus building and decision-making within the Alliance.
The International Military Staff (IMS) is the executive body of the Military Committee (MC), NATO’s senior military authority. It is headed by a Director General and its role is to provide strategic and military advice and staff support for the Military Committee, which advises the North Atlantic Council on military aspects of policy, operations and transformation within the Alliance. The IMS also ensures that NATO decisions and policies on military matters are implemented by the appropriate NATO military bodies.
Allied Command Operations (ACO), one of NATO' two strategic military commands, is responsible for the planning and execution of all Alliance operations. The overall command of operations at the strategic level is exercised by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). ACO consists of a number of permanently established headquarters with a specific role located across the Alliance. The strategic headquarters is called Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), and is situated in Mons, Belgium.
The second strategic military command, Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is headed by the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) and is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. Its mission is to contribute to preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states by leading the warfare development of military structures, forces, capabilities and doctrines. Their work includes expert evaluation of trends and future threats, capability development, education, exercises, and the implementation of lessons learned to improve the readiness and credibility of NATO's posture.
The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) delivers advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance technology and communications capabilities in support of Alliance decision-makers and missions. This includes addressing new threats and challenges such as cyber and missile defence. The agency is headed by the General Manager and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, with more than 30 locations worldwide.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) brings together NATO's logistics and procurement support activities in a single organisation, providing integrated multinational support solutions for NATO Allies and partners. Its main mission is to provide responsive, effective and cost-efficient logistics support services for systems and operations. The agency is headed by the General Manager and is headquartered in Capellen, Luxembourg, with operational centers in France, Hungary and Italy.