A groundbreaking ceremony for the future home for the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) was conducted Monday 29th November 2010 at SHAPE. The future facility will provide operational support, training and headquarters facilities for NSHQ, previously known as the Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre.
This event followed the formal standing-up of NSHQ held on the 22nd of November. During that event, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), Admiral James Stavridis, officially handed a "unit” flag to the NSHQ Commander and Director, Special Operations Office (DSOO), LieutenantGeneral (US) Frank J Kisner.
During his speech for the groundbreaking ceremony, Lt. Gen. Kisner mentioned that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasised the need for a comprehensive approach during his Lisbon Summit Communique. "There is a need for an approach that draws on subject matter expertise including Special Operations, and joins all these tools and expertise together for a successful operation,” Lt. Gen. Kisner said.
The NSHQ serves as the primary point of direction and coordination for all NATO Special Operations-related activities in order to optimize employment of special operations forces (SOF) to include providing an operational command capability when directed by SACEUR. The NSHQ is the Alliance SOF proponent for NATO SOF policy, standards, doctrine, training, education and assessments. Additionally, the NSHQ maintains and develops a robust operational command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) capability equipped with organic SOF enablers to ensure interoperability and enhance employment of NATO Special Operations.
The Alliance, with the full support of SACEUR, developed NSHQ to provide a coherent framework for NATO SOF, in order to maximize the utility of Special Operations and enhance their operational capabilities. SOF are inherently agile and are seen as the tip of the spear among military organizations, as they provide the ability for tailored, low-profile forces forswift response to predominantly unconventional threats. SOF is viewed in most nations as a cost effective strategicasset forproactive operations that are beyond the norm. As such, NATO SOF and the NSHQ fit perfectly into the context of thenew NATO Strategic Concept and the future of the Alliance.
The standing up of the NSHQ will strengthen the Allied capabilities and will serve as a central coordination, advisory, assistance, and directing body on SOF issues that will strengthen national as well as Allied SOF. The Allied nations are able to leverage special operations expertise provided by the NSHQ in order to effectively manage and further develop their national SOF.
Related Links: http://www.nshq.nato.int/