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29 Jun 07. NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation U.S. Air Force Gen. Lance L. Smith, along with seven NATO nations, signed the documents for the formal establishment of the multinational NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence in a ceremony held at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Located in Ede, the Netherlands, the NATO C2CoE will support NATO and the sponsoring nations in their efforts to transform by providing subject matter expertise on all aspects of the Command and Control process, such as doctrine, organisation, training and education, leadership, systems, personnel and facilities. The Netherlands established the national nucleus and initial capability in 2006.

The signing ceremony marks the start for the international participation with personnel from Belgium, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands as the centre host nation. This unique core of nations and C2CoE will help lead the future transformational agenda for command and control.

“Before being formally established, the CoE has actively pursued support to both ACT and NATO by providing expertise to the NATO Response Force Assessment,” said Gen. Smith. “Their programme of work for the next two years reflects the transformation objective areas of NATO as well as SACT priorities and projects.”

CoEs are nationally funded centres whose efforts closely parallel those of NATO’s transformational strategic command. Working in concert with these centres provides opportunities for NATO, and Partnership for Peace leaders and units to improve interoperability and capabilities, test and develop doctrine, and validate concepts through experimentation.
“CoEs are more than value added, they are vital to NATO transformation,” said Gen. Smith. “Relationships with the centres are one of the ways that ACT draws on national experiences and expertise.”

According to Dutch Army Col. Geerlof Kanis, the centre’s director, NATO C2CoE is an ideal platform to exchange information and knowledge in order to improve command and control interoperability.

“We want to contribute to the transformation in the field of Command and Control as a catalyst by acting as a marketplace for relevant information and knowledge. The Command and Control Centre of Excellence will act as a cognitive networking hub,” said Col. Kanis. “The signing also marks the beginning of a new period, starting with the posting of colleagues from your nations, finally resulting in supporting NATO.” There are currently four established CoEs and four more are in the NATO accreditation process.

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