Thirteen NATO nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), paving the way for the creation of the Combined Joint Operations From the Sea (CJOS) Center of Excellence (CoE) at Allied Command Transformation (ACT) headquarters in Norfolk, Va., May 31.
Allied Command Transformation is one of NATO’s two strategic-level headquarters and is NATO’s forcing agent for change, leading the continuous improvement of Alliance capabilities to uphold NATO’s global security interests.
The CoE falls in line with ACT’s mission to transform NATO’s military capabilities, making allied maritime forces faster and more precise in their operations.
Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Vice Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald will support and control the CoE and focus its energy on areas where gaps may exist between maritime experience and expertise within the Alliance.
“I see [2nd Fleet] supporting [NATO’s] strategic-level guidance with operational effort,” said Fitzgerald. “Having 13 nations on my staff really brings international flavor as we deploy our forces forward to operate with the NATO nations.”
All the parties involved were enthusiastic about the MoU and the upcoming work to bring this CoE into reality.
“It’s a win-win situation for NATO,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. Lance L. Smith, NATO’s supreme allied commander. “This brings us one step closer to being a NATO Center of Excellence
With the assistance of the center in Norfolk, and those located throughout Europe, ACT will act as the pivotal agent for change, to help shape a new NATO ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.
By Journalist 3rd Class Davis J. Anderson, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic