Military organisation and structures

  • Last updated: 25 May. 2018 15:03

NATO’s military organisation and structures comprise all military actors and formations that are involved in and used to implement political decisions that have military implications.

The key elements of NATO’s military organisation are the Military Committee, composed of the Chiefs of Defence of NATO member countries, its executive body – the International Military Staff – and the military Command Structure (distinct from the Force Structure).

The NATO Command Structure is composed of Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation, headed respectively by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation (SACT).

The Force Structure consists of organisational arrangements that bring together the forces placed at the Alliance’s disposal by the member countries, along with their associated command and control structures. These forces are available for NATO operations in accordance with predetermined readiness criteria and with rules of deployment and transfer of authority to NATO command that can vary from country to country.

Working mechanisms

In practice, the Chairman of the Military Committee presides over the Military Committee, where each member country has a military representative (or Milrep) for his/her Chief of Defence. This committee - NATO’s most seni