NATO Inaugurates Deployable Special Operations Headquarters
NATO SOF: BRIDGING THE GAP
Chievres Air Base, BELGIUM: NATO Special Operations Headquarters has conducted the first in a series of exercises arranged to test a new concept of deployable headquarters, at the NSHQ Training Campus.
The Special Operations Component Command Core is designed to provide NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe an assured deployable headquarters element that will serve as the initial command and control element for NATO special operations forces, deployed within a NATO Crisis Response Operation.
The SOCC Core is an additional sourcing option for SACEUR. It compliments existing capabilities provided by Nations to the Alliance. It ensures SACEUR has a deployable SOF command and control capability when a national capability is not yet designated or immediately available. In these instances, SOCC Core bridges the gap between first-response and the arrival of a fully operational headquarters.
“The SOCC Core approximates the initial capability of a special operations component command headquarters,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Bob Lyonnais, NSHQ SOCC Core Chief of Staff. “The SOCC Core is SACEUR’s assured, deployable, command and control capability for special operations.”
Service Members and Civilians from NATO Special Operations Headquarters assemble the components of the Special Operations Component Command Core Headquarters during an exercise to test the capabilities of the facility, 26 March 2014, at Chievres Air Base, Belgium. The Special Operations Component Command Core is designed to provide NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe an assured deployable headquarters element that will serve as the initial command and control element for NATO special operations forces, deployed within a NATO Crisis Response Operation. (RELEASED / NATO Photo by Edouard Bocquet, FRA)
In simple terms, the SOCC Core includes the basic capabilities found in many military deployed headquarters: operations center, satellite connectivity, medical facilities, and full communications array. Each of these capabilities allows the SOCC Core to reach back to the robust special operations network, throughout the NATO Alliance.
“The SOCC Core can be deployed relatively quickly to react to and support a wide array of humanitarian and combat operations, worldwide. The readiness standards of the SOCC Core closely resemble the readiness standards of the NATO Response Force,” said Lyonnais.
The SOCC Core capability is about the people and the training and expertise of those people, Lyonnais said. The SOCC Core staff is based and built around the Alliance Service Members working at the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, who will deploy in support of the command and control needs of the SOCC Core. These NSHQ personnel are joined by deployable intelligence personnel from the Special Operations Intelligence Branch of the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre.
Throughout 2014, the SOCC Core will endure various levels of testing, culminating in Exercise Trident Jaguar. Upon successful completion of Trident Jaguar, it is expected the NSHQ Commander will be able to certify the SOCC Core as fully mission ready.
“You have to have command and control capabilities,” Lyonnais said, “The SOCC Core ensures SACEUR has one available for SOF.”
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office