NATO sets up new surface command

Rear Admiral Jens Nemeyer, Commander Surface Forces NATO receives the formal activation order from Sir Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone KBE CB, Commander Allied Maritime Command, during the ceremony. Photo: NATO

NATO’s Allied Maritime Command hosted a ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the alliance to ceremonially activate a new command called Commander Surface Forces NATO (COMSURFNATO).

This April 4 activation is part of NATO’s Command Structure Adaptation (NCS-A) remarking new NATO at its birthday.

One of the milestones of the adopted HQ MARCOM, endorsed by Nations, is the introduction of the COMSURFNATO whom will assume responsibility of surface forces delegated by Commander MARCOM, including the four Standing Naval Forces and units under NATO operational control for operation Sea Guardian.

The Deputy Chief of Staff Operations (DCOS OPS) will perform the role of COMSURFNATO as a twinned position alongside his current duty.

With NATO’s Command Structure Adaptation, MARCOM is growing in numbers while keeping agile and flexible with the new structure.

This growth will enable the development of a new Theatre Maritime Component Command role which will oversee the many maritime challenges which cover the full spectrum of missions.

Along with COMSUBNATO and COM MARAIR, who are responsible for submarines and maritime air patrol aircraft respectively under NATO operational command, COMSURFNATO will be the third commander subordinate to COM MARCOM.

The newly established Theatre Maritime Operation Centre (TMOC) will facilitate the command and control function of the three commanders and support COM MARCOM in his role as Theatre Component Commander in the maritime domain. The TMOC will ensure a 360 degree overview by compiling a recognized picture which will be co-ordinated and shared with other NATO Joint and Maritime Operation Centres.

“Today marks an important milestone and a huge step on the journey to further operationalize MARCOM. Together with the TMOC and its Director, COMSURFNATO will greatly contribute to streamlining MARCOM’s Command and Control processes and help to make the decision making much leaner and faster, Rear Admiral Jens Nemeyer, Commander Surface Forces NATO, said.

At the Warsaw Summit in 2016, the heads of state and government announced the need to assess NATO’s Command Structure in recognition of the changing security environment. Most recently, at the February 2018 Defence Ministerial Conference, the leaders agreed to bolster maritime security, logistics, military mobility, and cyber defense.

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