NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA)
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is NATO’s main services provider, delivering a broad spectrum of integrated capabilities for the Alliance, its member nations and partners. The Agency brings together NATO’s logistics support and procurement activities, providing effective and cost-efficient multinational support solutions. NSPA is a customer-funded agency, operating on a "no profit - no loss" basis.
- NSPA provides acquisition and logistics support to NATO, its Allies, partners and other international organisations.
- The Agency focuses mainly on support to: NATO operations and exercises; life-cycle management of weapons systems; and management and coordination of the Central Europe Pipeline System.
- NSPA also manages the life-cycle management of three Boeing Globemaster III C-17 aircraft in support of the Heavy Airlift Wing as part of the Strategic Airlift Capability, an initiative aimed at giving NATO member nations as well as partners access to strategic airlift.
- In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, NSPA provides logistics support, manages key relief acquisition of medical supplies and organises transport of medical supplies and equipment to NATO Allies through strategic airlift capabilities.
Main tasks and responsibilities
NSPA’s mission is to provide responsive, effective and cost-efficient logistics support services for systems and operations. This support is delivered – in times of peace, crisis and conflict, wherever required – to NATO Allies, the NATO Military Authorities and partner countries, both individually and collectively.
Concretely, the Agency acquires, operates and maintains weapons systems, fuel delivery, port services, airfield logistics, airlift, medical and catering services, and base support services for all its customers across the world. It consolidates and centralises logistics management functions allowing its customers to achieve economies of scale.
NSPA is playing a leading role as part of NATO’s response to COVID-19. The Agency provides logistics support and organises transport of key supplies and equipment to Allies, partners and other international organisations. For instance, NSPA has provided Luxembourg with field hospitals to increase its hospital capacity and has delivered Intensive Care Unit ventilators to Italy, personal protective equipment to Spain and medical supplies to Norway.
NSPA’s capabilities are grouped into three areas: support to operations and exercises; life-cycle management; and services.
Support to operations and exercises
NSPA supports NATO operations and exercises through real-life support services, such as accommodation, catering and medical services; infrastructure; airfield support, and other logistics services to troops.
The Agency also manages contracts for fuel, oil supplies and port services for naval shipping. Through its Southern Operational Centre (SOC), located in Taranto, Italy, NSPA procures, manages, operates and maintains deployable camp infrastructure and associated contracted services for NATO and its Allies.
The Agency has been closely engaged in planning for and supporting nations in Deterrence and Defence activities.
Additionally, NSPA is responsible for the implementation of NATO Trust Fund projects, supporting security and defence-related projects and building capabilities in partner countries.
NSPA oversees all phases in life cycle of equipment and weapons systems (from acquisition to retirement of weapons system, with a particular focus on in-service support). The Agency works closely with its customers adapting its support in each phase to meet customer requirements.
NSPA currently manages 32 multinational support partnerships covering over 90 major weapons systems (helicopters, radars, missiles, armoured vehicles, airborne surveillance systems, etc.), including high-visibility projects such as:
- Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC)
- Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Fleet (MMF)
- Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS)
- Precision Guided Munitions and Land Battle Decisive Munitions
- Land Combat Vehicles and Equipment
- Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD)
- Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS)
NSPA maintains a broad portfolio of products and services in the area of logistics support, such as the NATO Logistics Stock Exchange (NLSE), which allows customers to arrange the exchange of excess spare parts and to manage commonly held stocks, or the General Procurement Shared Services (GPSS), which provides strategic sourcing contracts and access to the NATO eShopping Centre.
From Versailles, France, NSPA manages the Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS). CEPS is NATO’s largest petroleum pipeline system. Created in the early 1950s, CEPS was established for the transport, storage and distribution of different fuel types to supply the military forces of the Alliance in Central Europe. Since 1960, CEPS also delivers jet fuel to major civil airports such as Brussels, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Schiphol and Zurich. The non-military use of CEPS is permitted by the North Atlantic Council on the condition that priority is given to military capability.
In Hungary, the NATO Airlift Management Programme (NAMP) supports the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) and the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) C-17 aircraft. The NAMP acquires, manages and supports airlift assets required for national operations, including those in support of NATO, the European Union, the United Nations and multinational commitments.
NSPA is headquartered in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with main operational centres in France, Hungary and Italy and an outstation in Kosovo. The Agency employs around 1,550 staff and oversees over 2,500 contractors in NATO’s missions across the world.
NSPA reports to the North Atlantic Council. Headed by a general manager, the Agency is the executive body of the NATO Support and Procurement Organisation (NSPO), of which all NATO Allies are members. Those nations are represented in the NSPO Agency Supervisory Board (ASB), which directs and controls the activities of the NSPA.
In 1958, the North Atlantic Council approved the establishment of the NATO Maintenance Supply Services Agency (NMSSA), in Châteauroux, France to meet the logistics requirements of Allied nations.
Five years later, NMSSA changed its name becoming the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA). In 1968, NAMSA moved from its original base in Châteauroux to Luxembourg, where the Agency is still headquartered.
Over the decades, the Agency has adapted to changes in technologies, political and strategic conditions, as well as to NATO’s evolving advancements in collective defence logistics.
At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, Allied leaders agreed to reform the 14 existing NATO Agencies, located in seven member countries. In particular, they agreed to streamline the agencies into three major programmatic themes: procurement, support, and communications and information. The reform aimed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of capabilities and services, to achieve greater synergy between similar functions, and to increase transparency and accountability.
As part of the reform process, NSPA was established on 1 July 2012 merging three former in-service support agencies: the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), the NATO Airlift Management Agency (NAMA) and the Central Europe Pipeline Management Agency (CEPMA).
In April 2015, the NATO Support Agency became the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, marking the expansion of its capabilities to include all aspects of systems procurement from initial acquisition throughout sustainment.