23 Jan 2007

New Centre of Excellence for air operations

An agreement signed between NATO’s strategic transformation command and the French air force on 23 January paves the way for the certification of an Air Operations Centre of Excellence in France.

The Centre will further strengthen NATO’s expertise in the field of air operations, including the demands of the new security environment.

Contributing to transformation

Centres of Excellence are national training centres that have been recognized by Allied Command Transformation as providers of high-quality education and training to the Euro-Atlantic community.

They are funded nationally or multinationally and have individual relationships with NATO formalized through memoranda of understanding.

The Centres provide opportunities for NATO and the Alliance’s Partner countries to improve interoperability and capabilities, test and develop doctrine, and validate concepts through experimentation.

The French Centre, which has existed for 10 years, is the fifth national Centre of Excellence to enter the NATO accreditation process.  To date, two Centres have been fully certified - a Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Germany and a Defence Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence in Turkey.