Updated: 27-Sep-2002 September

23 Sept. 2002

Four headquarters designated
as NATO international headquarters

Four European headquarters have been officially designated as NATO international rapidly deployable headquarters at a ceremony held on 23 September at NATO's European strategic command (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium.

NATO is currently in the process of reforming its force structure to meet new security challenges and threats. A part of this process involves creating rapidly deployable command elements, which can be quickly dispatched to lead troops sent to a crisis area.

The designation of the four headquarters brings to five the number of corps-size rapidly deployable headquarters assigned to NATO, the fifth being the existing Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Force (ARRC). Each headquarters can command up to 60,000 troops.

The four headquarters are: the Rapid Deployable German/Netherlands Corps HQ in Münster, Germany; the Rapid Deployable Italian Corps HQ in Milan, Italy; the Rapid Deployable Spanish Corps HQ Valencia, Spain; and the Rapid Deployable Turkish Corps HQ in Istanbul, Turkey.

"European nations collectively have invested more than one billion euros to develop these capabilities. The fact that nations are prepared to put them under NATO command is a key element of our reform effort to develop more relevant structures and capabilities for the Alliance," said General Joseph Ralston, Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

Additional information:
  • SHAPE Press Release: Four New Multinational, Rapidly Deployable Headquarters Assigned To NATO - 23 September 2002
  • IMS Fact Sheet: The New NATO Force Structure - September 2002