Present Structure

The structure resulting from the last reform in 2012 consists of two strategic commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO, under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), is responsible for the planning and execution of all NATO military operations, as directed by the North Atlantic Council. ACO consists of a strategic-level headquarters, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) located in Mons (Belgium), along with two Joint Force Commands (JFC) in Naples (Italy) and Brunssum (the Netherlands), each of which is capable of deploying a headquarters out of area and commanding up to a major joint operation. To ensure NATO’s readiness in the cyber domain and to ensure ready and constant communication, the Alliance has the NATO Communication and Information Systems Group. ACO also has three component commands overseeing their respective areas of focus: Allied Air Command, Allied Land Command and Allied Maritime Command.
ACT is at the forefront of NATO’s military transformation. It is under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), who exercises his responsibilities from the Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia (USA). This command also has three subordinate joint centres: the Joint Warfare Centre in Norway; the Joint Forces Training Centre in Poland; and the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre in Portugal.


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