NATO Force Integration Unit project completed – last location connected

By Justin Unthank 12/12/2016
The deployment of NFIU Slovakia in Bratislava marks the completion of the NFIU Communications and Information Systems capability roll-out.

Approaching the end of year 2016, the NATO Force Integration Unit's (NFIU) final Network Point of Presence was established in Bratislava, Slovakia, to interconnect services and networks. The deployment marks the completion of the NFIU Communications and Information Systems (CIS) capability roll-out and follows successful installations in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia and Hungary.

Cloud solutions on the Eastern border of NATO

Fully centralized CIS services are being provided at all NFIU locations, leading the way for the Agency's future architectures and modernized IT infrastructure. There are no local servers at the NFIU, and users receive all application services from the Mons Data Centre, and through the Agency's new Mission Information Rooms, which provide a cloud-based application provisioning service for operations and exercises.

Cooperation across borders

Each NFIU provides its own local technicians for 'Touch Labour' to assist with all Level 1 technical support issues, however all service requests or incidents are managed from the central service desk since there are no Agency personnel deployed to the NFIUs. The NFIU project is also leading the way for the implementation of the NATO 1st Solution offering. The NCI Agency's service-based approach for 3rd party customers is supported by national funding, implementing the first truly catalogue-based Service Support Framework for External Customers.

Standard infrastructure for Forces

Due to the common approach across all NFIUs, the single sign-on and same work structures will be seen across each unit's work stations, ensuring that visiting forces will have the same experience no matter their location. Around 40 permanent personnel will work at each NFIU location to provide effective support when NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) deploys into a NFIU Nation in the context of NATO Response Force exercises or operations, providing coordination with the national government and on-the-ground logistic and legal support. The capability deployed within the NFIU will be able to support additional surge personnel from visiting units to aid coordination.

Delivering under tight deadlines

The Agency has been responsible for establishing CIS for the NFIUs under extremely tight timelines dictated by the Wales Summit declaration, and the Defence Ministers' political commitment in February 2015. Success has been achieved only thanks to effective teamwork, bringing together expertise from almost all areas of the Agency, with a can-do and problem solving attitude from all involved, monitored at director's level through the establishment of the Connected Force readiness program and praised by many at Ministerial level.

Read about the road to the final Point of Presence

 

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