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171213mou400NATO establishes its 25th Centre of Excellence.

At a dedicated event alongside the Chiefs of Transformation Conference 2017, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Denis Mercier, hosted a ceremony to establish the relationship between NATO and its 25th Centre of Excellence – the Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence based in Rome, Italy.

At the presence of Brigadier General Arturo Nitti, Chief of Centre for Defence Innovation of the Italian Defence General Staff, the Memorandum of Understanding were signed between Italy as a Framework Nation and representatives of the Republic of Albania and Republic of Slovenia as Sponsoring Nations.

Security Force Assistance is the assembly of activities that assist the host nation to develop and improve, or provide direct support to the development of local security forces and their associated institutions.

The mission of this Centre of Excellence is to improve effectiveness of NATO in promoting stability and reconstruction efforts for conflict and post-conflict scenarios and to provide a unique capability to the Alliance, NATO Nations and partners in the field of Security Force Assistance.

Today’s ceremony marks one of the culminating milestones on the journey to Centre of Excellence status which started all the way back in 2016. The final NATO accreditation should be completed by the end of 2018.

General Mercier congratulated all those involved in the establishment of this important Centre of Excellence, remarking that “Our Centres of Excellence are hubs for the enhancement of Allies and partners interoperability, where Allied Command Transformation plays a coordinating role, to ensure that we remain capable of operating together. Their recognised expertise and experience is invaluable to our warfare development efforts, supporting the adaptation of our military capacity. As the Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence joins this board of expertise today, I am confident it will succeed its ambitious mission.”