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Allied Command Transformation’s mission is to contribute to preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states by leading the transformation of military structures, forces, capabilities and doctrines. The mission must enable NATO to meet its level of ambition and core missions.

From its inception in 2003, Allied Command Transformation demonstrated the importance placed by NATO Nations on the roles of transformation and development as continuous and essential drivers for change – drivers of change that will ensure the relevance of the Alliance in a rapidly evolving and complex global security environment.

actbook 001Allied Command Transformation is organized around four principal functions:

  • Strategic thinking;
     
  • Development of capabilities;
     
  • Education, training and exercises; and,
     
  • Co-operation and engagement.

These functions are reflected in the composition of Allied Command Transformation which has its Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia and three subordinate entities in Norway (Joint Warfare Centre), in Poland (Joint Force Training Centre) and in Portugal (Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre).

Allied Command Transformation also includes a representative at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and at the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, an Allied Command Transformation Staff Element who sits alongside Allied Command Operations Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and a Military Partnership Directorate shared with the other NATO Strategic Command: Allied Command Operations.

NATO’s other education and training facilities and nationally-run entities (which are not part of the NATO Command Structure) also co-ordinate with Allied Command Transformation. These entities include the NATO Defense College in Italy, the NATO School in Germany and the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre in Greece, as well as the nationally-run Centres of Excellence. Other NATO Agencies also interact regularly with Allied Command Transformation on matters of common concern.

aclant logoBefore 2002, NATO’s two Supreme Commands were known as Allied Command Europe, established in 1951, and Allied Command Atlantic created a year later, in 1952.

Both of these Commands were streamlined at the end of the Cold War reducing the NATO Command Structure from 78 headquarters to 20 headquarters. In 2002, a decision was made to reorganise the NATO Command Structure and make it leaner and more efficient. Additionally, Alliance thinking fundamentally shifted: The NATO Command Structure was to be based on functionality rather than geography. The former Allied Command Europe became Allied Command Operations, responsible for all current Alliance operations, including maritime operations. The former Allied Command Atlantic became Allied Command Transformation, responsible for future operations.

Allied Command Transformation was commissioned on June 19th, 2003.

The NATO Command Structure was reviewed most recently in June 2011, as part of a wider process of reform and modernization, not only to optimize the structure but to include new tasks. The two Strategic Commands were maintained, as well as the Alliance’s level of ambition, which is the ability for the Alliance to manage two major joint operations and six small joint operations. Following the 2011 review, Allied Command Transformation developed stronger links with NATO Centres of Excellence and the NATO Force Structure.



TRANSFORMING NATO

Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is organized into five directorates reporting to the Chief of Staff. The directorates are Capability Development, Strategic Plans & Policy, Resources & Management, Joint Force Trainer and the Bi-Strategic Command Military Partnerships Directorate. There are more than one thousand military and civilian personnel working at Allied Command Transformation from Allied and Partner nations.








TRANSFORMATION IN EUROPE








THE BRIDGE TO TOMORROW

actbook 025 400In an unpredictable world, with a wide range of challenges and opportunities, NATO remains an essential source of stability.
Notwithstanding our powerful Alliance of 29 nations, and cooperation with a large group of partners, NATO is in the midst of a cycle of political, military and institutional adaptation, primarily driven by the fast moving security environment that affects us beyond the borders of the North-Atlantic Area.

At the 2016 Warsaw Summit, and together with many other measures, nations decided to adapt the NATO Command Structure, and to make it t for purpose against the new challenges of the strategic security environment.

Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation will remain the only NATO headquarters in North America as an essential symbol and instrument of the Trans-Atlantic link. While Allied Command Operations, located in Mons, Belgium, will refocus on Warfighting, Allied Command Transformation will concentrate on Warfare Development. It is about transforming NATO’s military capacity to the constantly changing environment.

Allied Command Transformation’s internal structure will be shifted to the modified roles, responsibilities and authorities of the NATO Command Structure to better execute the functions and tasks to prepare our alliance for future operations.

Our internal organization will transform around three pillars: Strategic Plans and Policy, Capability Development and Joint Force Development. These pillars will work on Strategic Foresight, Strategic Analysis, Innovation, Concepts, Strategy and Military Policy Advice, Partnerships, Defence Planning, Lessons Learned, Capability Development, Experimentation, Wargaming, Doctrine and Education and Individual Training, including the development Human Capital.

The Joint Force Training Centre, Joint Warfare Centre and Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, will remain under the responsibility of Allied Command Transformation, while adapting to incorporate new requirements. The Command will further strengthen relationships with NATO Centres of Excellence and use the professional knowledge of those centres on a broad range of important topics.

Without changing the geographical footprint, Allied Command Transformation will be provided with additional capacity and expertise, robust enough to cope with the new tasks and challenges for the development of the Alliance’s future military capacity, and flexible enough to adapt to the requirements of the constantly changing environment – to deliver at the speed of relevance.