Last modified: 2014-05-31 by Zachary Harden
Keywords: nato | otan | coe | international organization | act |
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by Željko Heimer
A NATO Centre of Excellence (COE) is a nationally or multinationally
sponsored entity, which offers recognised expertise and experience to the
benefit of the Alliance, especially in support of transformation. It provides
opportunities to enhance education and training, to improve interoperability and
capabilities, to assist in doctrine development and/or to test and validate
concepts through experimentation.
In order to promote transformation within the NATO Alliance, member nations have agreed to take advantage of national and multinational Centres of Excellence (CoEs). The CoEs are open for participation by all NATO member states, they are nationally or multi-nationally managed and funded, and they can be offered to NATO.
CoEs provide opportunities for NATO and PfP nations to improve interoperability and capabilities, to test and develop doctrine, and validate concepts through experimentation.
COEs trace their roots back to the reorganization of NATO's military command structure following the Prague Summit in 2002. After the summit, Atlantic Command Transformation (ACT) became responsible for transforming the Alliance into a leaner, more efficient organization.
Specifically, ACT ensures that the Alliance is able face future challenges by enhancing training, conducting experiments to test new concepts and promoting interoperability within the Alliance. In line with this goal, ACT has used its links with educational institutions to direct the transformation of the military structure, forces, capabilities and doctrine of the Alliance.
COEs are not part of the NATO command structure. Instead, they are educational facilities in the Euro-Atlantic area recognized by the Alliance for their high-quality training. ACT coordinates the relationship between these educational facilities and ACO.
Up to date, there are 18 NATO Centres of Excellence.
- Center for Analysis & Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations Centre of Excellence (CASPOA) COE in Taverny Air Base, France;
- Civil - Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence (CIMIC) COE in Enschede, The Netherlands;
- Cold Weather Operations Centre of Excellence (CWO) COE in Bodo, Norway;
- Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS) COE in Norfolk, Virginia, United States;
- Command & Control Centre of Excellence (C2) COE in Utrecht, The Netherlands;
- Confined and Shallow Waters Centre of Excellence (CSW) COE in Kiel, Germany;
- Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD) COE in Tallinn, Estonia
- Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED) COE in Madrid, Spain;
- Defense Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence (DAT) COE in Ankara, Turkey;
- Explosive Ordanance Disposal (EOD) COE in Trencín, Slovakia;
- Human Intelligence Centre of Excellence (HUMINT) COE in Oradea, Romania;
- Joint Air Power Competence Center (JAPCC) COE in Kalkar, Germany;
- Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation, & Nuclear Defence Centre of Excellence (JCBRN Defence) COE in Vyskov, Czech Republic;
- Military Engineering Centre of Excellence (MILENG) COE in Ingolstadt, Germany;
- Military Medical Centre of Excellence (MED) COE in Budapest, Hungary;
- Modelling and Simulation (M&S) COE in Rome, Italy;
- Mountain Warfare (MW) COE in Ljubljana, Slovenia;
- Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence (EGUERMIN) COE in Oostende, Belgium.
Most of them have own organizational flag.
Zoltan Horvath, 24 February 2011