MONS, Belgium – Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Tod D. Wolters, and Commander of Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk, Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, signed the official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, marking the establishment of NATO's newest Joint Force Command.
It is an important milestone, after the official activation of JFC Norfolk by the North Atlantic Council in July 2019 and more recently in September 2020 when the JFC reached its Initial Operational Status.
"This MOU enhances comprehensive defence especially in the vicinity of the Transatlantic," said General Wolters. "Malign influencer's probability of success just decreased as a result of signing this MOU."
Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Tod D. Wolters, left, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Chief of Staff Admiral Joachim Rühle, centre-left, Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk Commander Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, centre-right and SHAPE Office of Legal Affairs Directorate Mr. Andres Muñoz Mosquera pose for a photo during the Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk Memorandum of Understanding ceremony held at SHAPE Headquarters on Friday, October 2, 2020. (NATO Photo by MSgt Frederic Rosaire)
This new command is part of the Allied Command Operations structure and is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. It will provide a U.S.-led, joint multi-national operational command, supported by component, Allied and partner commands, responsible for the North Atlantic, the High North, and adjacent littorals. It is the first NATO headquarters dedicated to the Atlantic since 2003.
"What's next for JFC Norfolk is, beginning right away, our march toward full operational capability and a full participation in exercise programmes within NATO and to provide awareness and coordination for the Alliance in the Western part of the region, toward the North American continent," said Vice Admiral Lewis.
Over the next year, JFC Norfolk will continue to work towards Full Operational Capability by integrating the command networks across the NATO organisation, contributing to contingency planning, and actively participating in multinational exercises. This will enable the command to develop a high-readiness capability and situational awareness across the Atlantic and in the high North region.
Learn more about the Memorandum of Understanding in this video: