Reshaping NATO’s Command Structure

  • 28 Jun. 2011 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Oct. 2011 10:54

NATO’s Command Structure has been reviewed, as part of a major reform process, to make it more efficient, flexible and responsive. While the Alliance’s level of ambition remains the same, the changes will make its Command Structure more affordable, reducing the overall number of staff from 13,00 to 8,800 posts.

The reform will also create a more deployable, streamlined command configuration. Keeping its two Strategic Commands – Operations and Transformation – the new structure will have two Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQs). For the first time, each JFHQ will be able to deploy into theatre to exercise Command and Control up to the level of a major joint operation.

The reforms “will make NATO more effective – focusing on the capabilities and command systems we need,” said Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a statement on 8 June 2011.

The review process took into account the Command Structure’s core functions such as planning of operations, conduct of operations, development and transformation, military cooperation, and support activities. It also considered a number of new tasks stemming from the 2010 Strategic Concept and key principles such as the ability to conduct Article 5 operations, deployability and sustainability, as well as Alliance cohesion. Greater interaction between NATO headquarters and national headquarters will also be developed as a result of this reform.

Brigadier General Patrick Wouters, Deputy Director Plans and Policy Division, International Military Staff, gave a technical briefing on the reforms on 9 June 2011.

He said the reform aims to make the command structure “more fit for purpose”.

It will be able to meet the current and the future challenges and it is designed in a forward-looking way.”